The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

I’ve been sharing a lot about decisions, choices, and satificing this week, so I thought it would be fitting to share a poem that is an oldie, a goodie, and a favorite of mine: “The Road Not Taken.”
Robert Frost perhaps over shared, but that doesn’t make his poetry any less lovely. I mean, he writes in rhyming iambic pentameter, but it doesn’t feel like he’s beating you over the head with it. This poem is grounded in things: the road, the yellow wood, the undergrowth, morning. And yet, it’s such a good metaphor for life. I think it’s wonderful.
I memorized this poem when I was a freshman in college (but not in the way Morgan Freeman memorized “Invictus.“) when the Concert Choir sang it (so if you need me to share this poem, I’ll probably sing it to you – you’re welcome). You can see why this poem would be a good fit for college students searching for their way, trying to choose the right road, knowing their decisions really matter, and Randall Thompson’s arrangement really does the poem justice. Here’s the Hastings College Choir singing it (not my alma mater, but it’s still very good).
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 traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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