The Road Not Taken" I chose to do a poetry explication on Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken". I enjoyed this poem and have read many poems written by him. First, I just want to give a little background information on him. Robert Frost was one of the most inspiring and loved poets of the twentieth century.
His work is concentrated on the New England Landscape. Most of the poems written by Frost have involved fear, tragedies, and life itself. Frosts poems have a great deal of symbolism involved, "The careful local observations and homely details of his poems often have symbolic, and even metaphysical, significance" (Robert Frost). In this poem he goes into the theme of life itself, the continuous journey, and the difficult decisions that have to be made along the way. This poem also is about choice.
Choosing the path that is right for the person that will be traveling it. It could be the one less traveled or the more frequently traveled. It's up to the traveler to make that decision. In this poem, Frost believes that the road we choose will make us who we are. In line one of the poem, Frost introduces the metaphor that is sustained throughout the poem, the diverging roads. In line two "And sorry I could not travel both...
". (1127, L 2) conveys that it is always difficult to make a decision because it is impossible not to wonder where each road will lead. It also shows limitation, he must choose just one. He may regret the choice he makes, he knows that in a lifetime, it is impossible to travel down every path there is. In line three he says. ".. and long I stood" (1127, L 3), this shows that clearly he was in deep thought as to which road to take and where it might take him. It seems that the traveler was possibly weighing the pros and cons of each road.
He is in search for a reason to choose one over another but he is finding that very difficult. In line four he is attempting to make a decision, "And looked down one as far as I could" (1127, L 4). I think the traveler is trying to find some hints as to which road will take him to where he wants to go. He knows that whatever road he chooses will lead to the unknown.
He seems to be a little uncomfortable with the issue of the unknown. In lines four and five the paths go further than the traveler's vision, everything past that point is unknown. In lines six through eight the traveler chooses a road, the "one less traveled by". By the traveler choosing the road less traveled describes his personality. It shows that he is independent and doesn't necessarily follow others. A person who is a follower would take the road that was traveled a lot because it would be more secure to the traveler, but a leader is always up for something different and new.
He is showing that he is courageous. In line six of the poem the traveler mentions that one road was better because it hadn't been traveled on lately. In line ten of the poem the speaker says that the paths "Had worn them really about the same", (1127, L 10). Frost seems to contradict himself here and makes it a little confusing. In line twelve of the poem Frost says "In leaves no step had trodden black" (1127, L 12). In this line the leaves have fallen but no one has been there since, because there are no footprints or rustled leaves.
It is possible that others have been to the same part in the road and chose not to take that road, because it didn't look traveled. In line fifteen the speaker says "I doubted if I should ever come back", (1127, L 15). This means that he doesn't know where this road will lead him and is unsure of the choices he will have to make. In line seventeen of the poem the speaker says "Somewhere ages and ages hence:" (1127, L 17), I think here he regrets that he can not go back and take the other road he passed up. I think that he is still very happy with the road he picked, but there is always that curiosity factor that comes into play. There will always be that want to go back.
Would he be a different person if he took the more traveled road? Would he be just like everyone else? This again is what is unknown. This poem is about making a decision that changes the direction of life. It is unknown what each road contains, but it is a choice that must be made by the traveler. The main theme of this poem is one of making the right decision for the person confronted with a choice.
It may not always be the right decision, but a choice must be made. The language of this poem is understandable and to the point. With poems that "beat around the bush" and are wordy, I tend to find myself lost. Also, a poem that is aureate tends to do the same. This may be one of the things that drew me to this poem, its use of simple, understandable language. The tone of the poem up until line thirteen was one of confusion of what road to take, the one more traveled or less traveled.
After line thirteen the tone shifts to one of certainly of the road he chose. The poems tone change at line thirteen shifts to one of excitement, the punctuation shown makes that evident. Maybe because he is sure he chose the right one, or he is excited about the future that is ahead of him. In line sixteen of the poem, is the start of the second sentence of the entire poem. Here enjambment is evident. The poem is in iambic pentameter.
The rhythm is the same throughout. The first, third, and fourth lines in every stanza have end rhyme, the second and fifth do not. The images used throughout the poem were easy to visualize. As the poem proceeded I could visualize what he was saying. I could also visualize the traveler confronted with the choice of what road to choose. Some of the visual images that were helpful were: "Because it was grassy and wanted wear" (1127, L 8), .".. long I stood" (l 3), and "In leaves no step had trodden black" (1127, L 12).
By understanding, studying, and visualizing the poem I was able to appreciate it more.