The Road Not Taken – A Poem By Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken - A Poem By Robert Frost
This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Poetry and Management

The Road Not Taken is a poem by Robert Frost that looks at the inevitability of choices and the fact that everyone has to follow its own path. Yet, there is also an irony into this: by choosing a path you automatically miss on what the other one might have reserved for you.

This is the fifth contribution to my Poetry & Management collection. Poetry has always been one of my favourite forms of expressions, probably one of the eclectic sides of my multipotentialite trait. And I will be sharing more of these over time.

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.

Robert Frost

Source: Robert Frost, Mountain Interval.


A Short Comment

The Road Not Taken is probably the most famous poem by Robert Frost. Yet, It has often been misunderstood. It’s often used to point to the fact that each individual needs to make choices, and will have a path made for him. Follow your own path becomes a message that is often associated with this work. However, I feel there is also a strong irony expressed on the fact that with each choice you gain something, but you lose something as well.

This poetry is often used also as a metaphor of career, and the choice of taking the road less traveled, as this made all the difference. Is it really this the suggestion? Or simply, every choice we make we need to stick to it and that’s it?

There’s no one solution, I feel, but this poem makes you reflect on the fact that each day of our lay is made of choices and decisions. We can, of course, look back and examine what has happened, but we should rarely regret a choice because even if we had taken another path, there could be the risk of another source of regret.

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