I was thinking today that I haven’t read any good poetry in a very long time, perhaps I am just looking in the wrong places or maybe poetry isn’t as popular as it once was, but I really used to enjoy it and I would love to find some good poetry books. There are many famous poets that have helped shape the landscape of literature but there is one in which I remember fondly, and a poem I could never forget. That author is Robert Frost and the poem is “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 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,
And that has made all the difference.
I read this poem a long time ago, possibly over 15 years ago, and it makes more sense to me now as an adult. Not to say it was a confusing poem as a child, but that I didn’t have the life experience to fully understand it. In this poem the narrator is unsure of which path to take, and when he decides which one to take, he is pleased with his final decision. The line in this poem that strikes me most is the final one, I am of the school of thought that believes everything will turn out fine, if you are able to fight through the difficulty. The final line of this poem makes it seem as though traveling the less traveled path was the modifier in the narrator’s life, when it may have actually just been another event or plot on the line graph that is life. Many people would disagree with my reading of the poem, but that is why I love poetry. Poetry can be read and understood in many different ways, but one thing is true, no matter what the author decided the poem would be about, it is ultimately the reader who makes their own interpretation of the work that brings it to life.