The Road Not Taken


By Robert Frost

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.

In class this morning we studied lyric poems.  The first was A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns and the second was The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.  The best thing I believe that  came from this lesson was to see the students not only analyze the poetic devices found in the poems, but to make life applications.

Some questions that we considered were “When do we find ourselves standing before a crossroad?”  “What are some of these choices we face in life?”  The students were quick to point out a lot of the challenges they face every day.  For example, to follow the crowd or not,  the use of alcohol and/or drugs. They even considered the consequences of walking a different path.  Some of these included being labeled and having no friends.

The courage to take a stand starts with wisdom.  And wisdom comes when we stop and consider the outcome of our choices.  As the students discussed these issues, my hope was that they would look more carefully and fully at the choices before them and the results of those decisions.  The last line of the poem is truly the crux.  And I…I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.


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