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, 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 on to 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,
In Robert Frosts poem The road not taken Essay, Frost writes of
how decisions he made, or the roads that he took, made him the
There is a strong sense of regret before the decision is even made
And sorry I could not travel both(513). It is difficult to make a
decision and one will always wonder about the opportunities lost and
what was missed if a different decision was made.
Then took the other, just as fair, and having perhaps the better
What made one road appear to be a better choice than the
other is it was grassy and wanted wear(513). It was a path that not
many had taken, it appeared the majority had taken the other path, leaving the one less traveled soft with grass. This less secure road that he chose over the more popular one is an indication of his personality
type, choosing not to follow the crowd but to do his own thing. He
chose to do what is not popular and become a writer.
And both that morning equally lay, in leaves that no step had
trodden black(513), the leaves that had fallen and covered the path,
no one had yet to walk on. Frost wrote of this because each time a
person comes to the point when a decision must be made, it is new to
them, somewhere they have not walked before.
I kept the first for another day(513) expresses his desire to be able to travel both roads. Yet knowing how way leads on to way, shows that Frost knows that his first decision is not a temporary one, he wrote, I doubted if I should ever come back(513). He knew that this decision would affect every other choice that he made afterward. There would be no turning back; it could not be undone.
At the end of the poem he shows that he knows somewhere ages and ages hence(513), he will regret being unable to go back and travel down the road he did not take. I took the road less traveled by and that has made all the difference(513).
It was the path that he chose that made him who he became and to live his life the way he lived, with the only regret being he could not take both paths life offered him.
Frost, Robert. The Road Not Taken. in Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, Drama and the Essay. Robert DiYanni, ed. Boston:Mcgraw-Hill,1998.