“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 hadn’t really been much of a poetry person growing up, and I can say with all sincerity I am still not much of a poetry person to this day. However, thank God for teachers, and English classes, or I would be a non poetry person with no appreciation at least for those who do poetry and do it well.
My first poem I read (while not counting the whole “roses are red violets are blue” rubbish) was Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken. Like the good ninth grader that I was I committed it to memory, but sadly like the ignorant teenager that I also was at the time (hopefully I’m not quite so ignorant now) I memorized a bunch of words that sounded nice together without really understanding the meaning of those words.
The writer stands surveying both roads, and while both roads are equally worn and covered in leaves. The writer chooses one telling himself he will take the other road another time. What’s interesting is that he knows he might actually never take the other road. And he admits when he is older he will recreate the scene: claiming that he took the road less traveled.
I think Frost got it right when he wrote this poem. I think we all want to hope that every decision we make is the right one, and that in the end we don’t have any regrets about the things we’ve done with our lives, but the truth is we don’t always make the right decisions and we tell ourselves we did in fact take the road less traveled when in actuality we just conformed and took the road that was easiest to take.
I hope that when I look back at my life, and it’s my turn to recreate the scene of the two roads. I don’t want to have to reassure myself that the choice I made was the right one. I hope that in the end I had the courage to break out of the mold and take the road less traveled.