I stood still in wonderment and let him pass by; and that, too, with the fatal omission of not trying to find out by a comparison of lives and immediate and remote interests what could have brought us by crossing paths to the same point. Some purpose i doubt not, if we could but have made out. I like a coincidence almost as well as an incongruity. This portentous account of meeting "another" self (but not encountering that self directly and therefore not coming to terms with it) would eventually result in a poem quite different from "The road Not taken" and one that Frost would not publish for decades. Elizabeth Sergeant ties the moment with Frost's decision to go off at this time to some place where he could devote more time to poetry. He had also, she implies, filed away his dream for future poetic use.
Taken, summary, stanza by, stanza, english, summary
"—that the transcription of his reply made it necessary both to italicize the word "roads" and to follow it with an exclamation point. Frost recited the poem all right, but, as his friend remembered, "he didn't let me get away with 'two paths! convinced that the poem was deeply personal and directly self-revelatory Frost's readers have insisted on tracing the poem to one or the other trendsetters of two facts of Frost's life when he was in his late thirties. (At the beginning of the Inferno dante is thirty-five, "midway on the road of life notes Charles Eliot Norton.) The first of these, an event, took place in the winter of in the woods of Plymouth, new Hampshire, while the second, a general observation and. In Robert Frost: The Trial by Existence, elizabeth Shepley sergeant locates in one of Frost's letters writing the source for "The road Not taken." to susan hayes Ward the poet wrote on February 10, 1912: Two lonely cross-roads that themselves cross each other I have walked. The practically unbroken condition of both for several days after a snow or a blow proves that neither is much travelled. Judge then how surprised I was the other evening as I came down one to see a man, who to my own unfamiliar eyes and in the dusk looked for all the world like myself, coming down the other, his approach to the point where. I felt as if I was going to meet my own image in a slanting mirror. Or say i felt as we slowly converged on the same point with the same noiseless yet laborious stride as if we were two images about to float together with the uncrossing of someone's eyes. I verily expected to take up or absorb this other self and feel the stronger by the addition for the three-mile journey home. But I didn't go forward to the touch.
I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost. How hard a thing it is to say what was the forest savage, rough, and stern, Which in the very thought renews the fear. So bitter is it, death is little more. From the beginning, when it appeared as the first poem in mountain Interval (1916 many readers have overstated the importance of "The road Not taken" to Frost's work. Alexander meiklejohn, president of Amherst College, did so when, announcing the appointment of the poet to the school's faculty he recited it to a college assembly. "The Choice of Two paths" is suggested in Frost's decision to make his two roads not very much different from one and another, for passing over one of them had the effect of wearing them "really about the same." This is a far cry from, say. Frost seems to have deliberately chosen the word "roads" rather than "waies" or "paths" or even "pathways." In fact, on one occasion when he was asked to recite his famous poem, "Two paths diverged in a yellow wood Frost reacted with such feeling—"Two roads!
Copyright 1988 by the columbia university Press. George montiero "the road not taken" can write be read against a literary and pictorial tradition that might be called "The Choice of the Two paths, " reaching not only back to the gospels and beyond them to the Greeks but to ancient English verse. Reson and Sensuallyte, for example, john Lydgate explains how he dreamt that Dame nature had offered him the choice between the road of reason and the road of Sensuality. In art the same choice was often represented by the letter "Y" with the trunk of the letter representing the careless years of childhood and the two paths branching off at the age when the child is expected to exercise discretion. In one design the "Two paths" are shown in great detail. "On one side a thin line of pious folk ascend a hill past several churches and chapels, and so skyward to the heavenly city where an angel stands proffering a crown. On the other side a crowd of men and women are engaged in feasting, music, love-making, and other carnal pleasures while close behind them yawns the flaming mouth of hell in which sinners are writhing. But hope is held out for the worldly for some avoid hell and having passed through a dark forest come to the rude huts of Humility and Repentance." Embedded in this"tion is a direct reference to the opening of Dante's. Inferno: Midway upon the journey of our life.
The walker looks down one, first, then the other, "as just as fair. indeed, "the passing there / Had worn them reallv about the same." As if the reader hasn't gotten the message, frost says for a third time. "And both that morning equally lay/ In leaves no step had trodden black." What, then, can we make of the final stanza? My guess is that Frost, the wily ironist, is saying something like this: "When i am old, like all old men, i shall make a myth of my life. I shall pretend, as we all do, that I took the less traveled road. But I shall be lying." Frost signals the mockingly self-inflated tone of the last stanza by repeating the word "I which rhymes - several times - with the inflated word "sigh." Frost wants the reader to know that what he will be saying, that. From "Frost" in, columbia literary history of the United States.
Taken, summary by robert Frost - beaming Notes
Yet Frost had written Untermeyer two years previously that "I'll bet not half a dozen people can tell you who was hit and where he was hit in my road Not taken and he characterized himself in that poem business particularly as "fooling my way along.". When Frost sent "The road Not taken" to Thomas he was disappointed that Thomas failed to understand it as a poem about himself, but Thomas in return insisted resume to Frost that "I doubt if you can get anybody to see the fun of the thing. Yet it became a popular poem for very different reasons than what Thomas referred to as "the fun of the thing." It was taken to be an inspiring poem rather, a courageous credo stated by the farmer-poet of New Hampshire. In fact, it is an especially notable instance in Frost's work of a poem which sounds noble and is really mischievous. One of his notebooks contains the following four-line thought: Nothing ever so sincere, that unless it's out of sheer. Mischief and a little queer, it wont prove a bore to hear. The mischievous aspect of "The road Not taken" is what makes it something un-boring, for there is little in its language or form which signals an interesting poem.
But that mischief also makes it something other than a "sincere" poem, in the way so many readers have taken Frost to be sincere. Its fun is outside the formulae it seems almost but not quite to formulate. From, frost: a literary life reconsidered. Copyright 1984 by william Pritchard. A close look at the poem reveals that Frost's walker encounters two nearlv identical paths: so he insists, repeatedly.
I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. The poem ended, the boys "applauded vigorously and surely meiklejohn congratulated himself just a bit on making the right choice, taking the less traveled road and inviting a poet to join the Amherst College faculty. What the president could hardly have imagined, committed as he was in high seriousness to making the life of the college truly an intellectual one, was the unruliness of Frost's spirit and its unwillingness to be confined within the formulas - for meiklejohn, they were. I should like to be so subtle at this game as to seem to the casual person altogether obvious. The casual person would assume i meant nothing or else i came near enough meaning something he was familiar with to mean it for all practical purposes.
The "fun" is "outside and lies in doing something like teasing, suggesting formulae that don't formulate, or not quite. The fun is not in being "essentially intellectual" or in manifesting "intellectual enthusiasm" in meiklejohn's sense of the phrase, but in being "subtle and not just subtle but so much so as to fool "the casual person" into thinking that what you said was obvious. If we juxtapose these remarks with his earlier determination to reach out as a poet to all sorts and kinds of people, and if we think of "The road Not taken" as a prime example of a poem which succeeded in reaching out and taking. For the large moral meaning which "The road Not taken" seems to endorse - go, as I did, your own way, take the road less traveled by, and it will make "all the difference"-does not maintain itself when the poem is looked at more carefully. Then one notices how insistent is the speaker on admitting, at the time of his choice, that the two roads were in appearance "really about the same that they "equally lay / In leaves no step had trodden black and that choosing one rather than. Is it not the high tone of poignant annunciation that really makes all the difference? An earlier version of the poem had no dash after "I presumably Frost added it to make the whole thing more expressive and heartfelt. And it was this heartfelt quality which touched meiklejohn and the students.
The, road, not taken Summary metaphor poetry
There are those who are so closely shut up within a little round of petty pleasures they that have never dreamed of the fun of reading and conversing and investigating and reflecting. A liberal education would rescue boys from stupidity, its purpose being to draw from that "reality-loving American boy" something like "an intellectual enthusiasm." But this result could not be achieved, meiklejohn added, without a thorough reversal of the curriculum: "I should like to see every. Now, five years after his address, he was bringing to Amherst someone outside the usual academic orbit, a poet who lacked even a college degree. But despite - or perhaps because of - this lack, the poet had escaped triviality, was an original mind who knew about living by ideas. For he had written among other poems "The road Not taken given pride of place ions in the just-published. Mountain Interval as not only its first poem but also printed in italics, as though to make it also a preface and to and motto for the poems which followed. It was perfect for meiklejohn's purposes because it was no idle reverie, no escape through lovely language into a soothing dream world, but a poem rather which announced itself to be "about" important issues in life: about the nature of choice, of decision, of how. For President meiklejohn and for the assembled students at compulsory chapel, it might have been heard as a stirring instance of what the "liberal college" was all about, since it showed how, instead of acceding to the petty pleasures, the "countless trivial and vulgar amusements". Somewhere ages and ages hence; Two roads diverged in a wood, and.
The poem ends: Two roads diverged in a wood, and i—i took the one resume less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. The indecision of the speaker—his divided state of mind—is heightened by the repetition of i, split by the line division and emphasized by the rhyme and pause. It is an effect possible only in a rhymed and metrical poem—and thus a good argument for the continuing viability of traditional forms. On "The road Not taken on "The road Not taken william. On December 16, 1916, he received a warm letter from meiklejohn, looking forward to his presence at Amherst and saying that that morning in chapel he had read aloud "The road Not taken "and then told the boys about your coming. They applauded vigorously and were evidently much delighted by the prospect.". Alexander meiklejohn was an exceptionally high-minded educator whose principles and whose moral tone toward things may be illustrated most briefly and clearly by some statements from his essay "What the college." This, his inaugural address as president of Amherst, was printed for a time. What the college was, or should be -what meiklejohn hoped to make amherst into - was a place to be thought of as "liberal that is, "essentially intellectual "The college is primarily not a place of the body, nor of the feelings, nor even.
contrary, the speaker may not be Frost at all. On more than one occasion the poet claimed that this poem was about his friend Edward Thomas, a man inclined to indecisiveness out of a strong—and, as Frost thought, amusing—habit of dwelling on the irrevocability of decisions. If so, the reference in the poems final stanza to telling of the experience with a sigh/ Somewhere ages and ages hence might be read not only as the boast of Robert Frost, who tells it as long as people read the poem, but also. What is clear is that the speaker is, at least, a person like thomas in some respects (though there may well be some of Frost in him also). Critics of this poem are likely always to argue whether it is an affirmation of the crucial nature of the choices people must make on the road of life or a gentle satire on the sort of temperament that always insists on struggling with such. The extent of the poets sympathy with the traveler also remains an open question. Frost composed this poem in four five-line stanzas with only two end rhymes in each stanza ( abaab ). The flexible iambic meter has four strong beats to the line. Of the technical achievements in The road Not taken, one in particular shows Frosts skill at enforcing meaning through form.
Almost immediately, however, he seems to contradict his own judgment: Though as for that the passing there/ Had worn them really about the same. The poet appears to imply that the decision is based on evidence that is, or comes close to being, an illusion. He decides to save the first, (perhaps) more traveled route for another day but then confesses that he does not think it probable that he will return, implying that this seemingly casual and inconsequential choice is really likely to be crucial—one of the choices. In the final stanza, the traveler says that he will be telling this with a sigh, which may connote regret. His choice, in any event, has made all the difference. The tone of this stanza, coupled with the title, strongly suggests that the traveler, if not regretting his choice, at least laments the possibilities that the need to make a choice leave garden unfulfilled. Has Frost in mind a particular and irrevocable choice of his own, and if so, what feeling, in this poem of mixed feelings, should be regarded as dominant?
The road Not taken - wikipedia
The first poem in Frosts book. Mountain Interval, the road Not taken, has long been a professional popular favorite. Like many of his poems, it seems simple, but it is not exactly straightforward, and even perceptive readers have disagreed considerably over its best interpretation. It looks like a personal poem about a decision of vast importance, but there is evidence to the contrary both inside and outside the poem. Frost has created a richly mysterious reading experience out of a marvelous economy of means. The first significant thing about The road Not taken is its title, which presumably refers to an unexercised option, something about which the speaker can only speculate. The traveler comes to a fork in a road through a yellow wood and wishes he could somehow manage to travel both routes; he rejects that aspiration as impractical, however, at least for the day at hand. The road he selects is the one less traveled by, suggesting the decision of an individualist, someone little inclined to follow the crowd.