The Road Not Taken

(by Robert Frost, from Mountain Interval, 1916)


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 travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.


This poem is by Robert Frost, published in 1916 in the collection of Mountain Interval. It consits of four stanzas of five lines and the rhyme is ABAAB. 

It is very narrative. The story starts when a traveler stood at a fork of the road in the wood. The road split into two ways (one goes one way, the other goes a different way). It took a long time for him to decide which road he should take. He looked at the the first road, yet he could not see the end of the road as it bent curvy into the horizon.  

Then, he decided to take the second one as it looked more deserving for him to walk by. Although, both roads were equally worn down by people walking down them and equally overlaid by un-trodden leaves. However, he walked by on the second road anyway, telling himself  that someday in the future he will go for walking down on the first road. Yet he knew, that it will be impossible for him to have the opportunity to do so.  In the future, he will reminisce the decision he made by saying, he took the less-traveled road and that made a big change in his life (?). 

I like this poem. Perhaps, it is because the meaning that can express our feeling. Though, we may have different opinion on the poem’s meaning. Speaking for myself, it tells us that at some  point we would face the same situation. We often face dilemma in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives. Making it complicated is that the alternatives are sometimes equally desirable, or even equally undesirable. Even worse, we do not know how it is going to be before we make the actual decision. Still, we have to decide anyway, and we are free to choose.

One important thing we should know is that there is no “Wrong Path” or “Right Path”. Both have their own consequences, this is the nature of decision. Perhaps, both decisions would make big differences in our life but in a a different way. Once a decision has been made, whatever it is, never go back. 

(Menunggu hasil sequencing di MarBee Lab, 20 January 2012)


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