Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”
In the first stanza, Frost is telling of how he sees two roads, but he cannot possibly take both. The first road he looks at can only be seen as far as a near curve with undergrowth. The second road he sees has a grassy path and “want[s] wear.” In the third stanza Frost debates which path to take and decides to leave the first road for another day, if he decides to ever come back. The fourth and final stanza of the poem tells how Frost is telling the tale with a sigh and because he took the road less traveled by, it has made all the difference in his life.
Bruce Hornsby and the Range “The Road Not Taken”
In the first stanza of the first verse, the song introduces an Appalachian girl from Virginia with whom the narrator falls in love. Every time he sees her, his heart stands still out of pure amazement, and even though she admits to him that she has been thinking of him, she will not go away with him. He returns every so often to admire her and each time he regrets not taking the road that leads him to his desire. The narrator watches her age over the years and imagines that where she is, sitting on her the porch, the light is brighter. At the end of the chorus the narrator repeatedly tells of taking “the road not taken, again.” Perhaps he is saying that the road he travels on does not lead to her or is not taken by her, and this depresses him.
Even though these two works of literature possess the same title, they are nothing alike. True, they both discuss a road not taken, but Frost’s poem has nothing to do with romance whereas Bruce Hornsby and the Range’s song is focused on the unrequited love of a beautiful Appalachian girl. They are similar in the way they refer to a certain path as the road not taken, but Frost seems to appreciate that he took the road less traveled and the narrator of the song by Bruce Hornsby and the Range seems to regret something about the road not taken that is referred to at the end of...
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