27 October 2008

My favorite poem ever

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads onto way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost, 1916


I first read this poem back in junior high, when one of my teachers had made it an assignment to read and memorize the entire poem to recite in front of the entire class. Although I could be myself to people individually, I was scared as hell doing things in front of large crowds. This, of course, was no different, but was the first time I was excited to do something like this. I spent all night reading this and memorizing it as best as I could. I would stand in front of a mirror and recite out loud each verse that was freshly implanted in my thick head. I aced the recital, but unlike most, the poem was engraved in. I loved this poem and went as far as turning in another paper with both my interpretation of it all and another (paraphrased) version. It's been with me since and I was gladly reminded about it thanks to my sister.

Most people think Frost was communicating to "be the one to do what others won't"; to not conform; to go against the grain, or society's way of thinking. Initially that's what I also thought. Going back and looking at it some years ago, I viewed it in a new light- Frost is saying that we must make choices. You cannot experience a path without walking down it. Similarly, you cannot tell how the path has affected you until later down the life. Life is short and choices lead us unto other things in life (and more choices!), not allowing us to go back.

The beauty of this poem is that you can view it in either a positive or negative light. I can definitely do both.

1 comment:

  1. orbie!!! loved seeing you last weekend... :) miss ya once again.

    another thing about the poem... or choices and life in general...

    we make choices going one way or the other.
    yet we can never really know where the "other" path would've lead us - greener, grassier... whatever it may be.
    therefore, NO REGRETS :) haha.

    come visit me again. i'll definitely hit you up when im back on that side :)