Poetry Explication: “The Road Not Taken” By Robert Frost
The four time Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Robert Frost, is well known for his picturesque portrayal of rural lifestyle, focusing mainly on the New England region of the United States. “The Road Not Taken”, published in 1916 is one of his earliest written and most highly praised works. It is considered a masterpiece of American Literature and its content is frequently studied by high school and college students to this day. The poem is a closed frame narrative type consisting of four stanzas with a rhyme scheme of ABAAB. While being the most popular of the numerous poems written by Robert Frost, it has also been one of the most misinterpreted and openly interpreted poems of his repertoire. Its main focus is on a man, presumably Frost, who comes upon a fork in the trail while hiking through the woods in mid-autumn. Through use of metaphor, inverted syntax and an abstruse yet halcyon tone, Frost depicts the difficulty of making decisions in life, how those decisions effect your life and how one must live with the choices they make and the chances they take.
The literal and figurative meanings of this poem have been and can be interpreted in a few different ways. The title itself, “The Road Not Taken”, is many times mistakenly referred to as “The Road Less Traveled”. This mistake causes many people to interpret the poem in a different light than Frost intended and that by taking “…the one less travelled by” Frost has (figuratively) made some life changing decision that is seen as a positive aspect of his journey through life. However, the real title of the poem highlights the road that was not chosen by Frost and that by …”telling this with a sigh”, Frost is actually looking back in regret for not conforming to the rules that have been laid out by society. These two polarized theories of the theme of this compelling poem are neither right nor wrong. Part of the beauty of poems such as this, like famous...
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