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    Reflecting on the Past and Future Poetry

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    Is a way to express a deeper truth and to move people or make them feel emotion. This Is true In “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost and “Combing” by Gladys Cardiff. In “The Road Not Taken” the speaker Is at a fork In the road and must choose a path. They are both worn down about the same and he tells himself he could always come back for the other. The deeper meaning is the speaker has a dilemma and must make a decision. In “Combing” a mother is braiding and combing her daughter’s hair. She remembers a time when her own mother did the same to her hair.

    Then her mother combs her grandmother’s hair from a comb made of bone. This symbolizes the tradition of braiding hair for each generation. “The Road Not Taken” Is a four-stanza poem with the rhyme scheme BABY. The poet describes a path separating into two In the woods. He observes each path and knows he must make a decision. He takes the road that looked grassy and unused although they were both used about the same. He tells himself he could always come back and take the other road but In the back of his mind he doubts he will ever come back. There Is a very clear deeper meaning to this poem.

    The speaker has come to conflict in his life and must choose between two choices. The poet sets the poem in the fall with the leaves falling so this symbolizes the speaker is in the fall of his life and he is too old to go back and revise major decisions he made in the past. He chooses one road and is unaware of what lies in his future. In the last stanza he second-guesses himself. He will never know what the other road was like but he’s curious and thinks it may be better. The poet writes, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I-? I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

    His decision changes his life but we don’t know If It’s for better or worse. The poem suggests Its better to take the road less traveled because It could have a better future. The theme of the poem is you shouldn’t second-guess yourself and you can’t control your destiny so Just make the best of what you have, “Combing” Is also a four-stanza poem with no rhyme scheme. It is about the generations of women in a family who do each others hair. It starts off with the child getting her hair braided by her mother. The author uses imagery when she writes “My daughter’s hair curls against the comb, Wet and fragrant-?orange parings. In the next stanza the mother is getting her hair combed by her mother. Cardiff uses the simile “l feel the braids drawn up tight as a piano wire and singing, Vinegar-rinsed. ” She then tells us it is early in the morning before school and she is waiting for the toaster to ring. “Sitting before the oven I hear the orange coils tick the early hour before school. ” In the third stanza her grandmother Is getting her hair combed while she is tearing strips of orange and brown rags to make a rug. A bond Is created between the family embers from the act of braiding hair.

    The women braid each other’s hair In the morning as an expression of love. It Is a happy poem that emphasizes the importance of family. The theme of the poem is women in a family can connect and ugly such as a rag and making something new and useful out of it, such as a rug. It might tie into the poem because it symbolizes connecting the past with the future. The poem by Robert Frost takes us into the mind and thoughts of someone who is reflecting on their past and they seem to be struggling with a decision they made.

    Combing” also brings us into the mind and thoughts of the speaker as she is reflecting on the past, however, this person isn’t dealing with a struggle. The speaker is very much at peace in this poem and is enjoying the moment that she reflects on this act and how it connects her with the past and the future. We have a very serene feeling when we read this poem. “The Road Not Taken” leaves us with a feeling that the speaker is not at ease and may never be when at ease whenever he chooses to reflect on the time when he made this decision. There is a feeling of conflict in this poem.

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    Reflecting on the Past and Future Poetry. (2018, Jan 07). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/poetry-6-11-37177/

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