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"The Road Not Taken" And Other Poems By Robert Frost

2196 words - 9 pages

"The Road Not Taken" and Other Poems by Robert Frost"Robert Frost, born March 26, 1874" (Robert Frost), is considered by most to be "one of America is leading 20th century poets" (Frost 15). Some of his most famous work includes The Road Not Taken, Design, and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. "Frost won an unprecedented number of literary, academic, and public honors" (http://encarta.msn.com) because he allows all readers from all different experiences to relate to his poems. "Frost's poetry is based mainly upon the life and scenery of rural New England," (Frost 15) and the language of his verse reflects the compact idiom of that region. Although he concentrates on ordinary subject ...view middle of the document...

Patrick Bassett, contributor to the literary journal The Explicator, believes in the "spiritual nature of the poem" (Bassett 42) and contends, "it represents spiritual choices of the soul" (Bassett). Mike Bellah, writer for the online magazine, The Best Years, believes that "The Road Not Taken" is Robert Frosts "warning against procrastination and the delayment of dreams"(Bellah). Central State University Professor, R.F Fleissner argues that "there is no definite interpretation of the poem as it was based on the mannerisms of one man"(Fleissner 22) -a friend of Robert Frost's. Literary critic, Mordecai Marcus, believes that the poem simply "takes a satirical look at the quandary of having to make choices at all"(Marcus). The editors of Thinkquest.org, an online study group, focus on the reflective lines of the poem, and argue that "it urges readers, not to forge new roads, but to take pride in the ones they have already chosen" (Interpretation Of The Road Not Taken) . Louis Untermeyer, writer of The Road Not Taken, proposes, "that "The Road Not Taken" cannot truly be about choice because destiny will always guide one to the necessary path" (Untermeyer). In any case, however, this poem clearly demonstrates Frost's belief that it is the road one chooses that makes him who he is.Frost begins The Road Not Taken by creating a mental image of a traveler stopped at a fork in his path, much like someone who is trying to make a difficult decision. The road that will be chosen leads to the unknown, as does any choice in life. In an attempt to make a decision, the traveler looks down one as far as I could. As much he may strain his eyes to see as far the road stretches, eventually it surpasses his vision and he can never see where it is going to lead. Frost realizes that much like anyone making any kind of decision, their destiny cannot be seen, only the choices they can make. When the traveler finally decides, the line "Then took the other, just as fair / And having perhaps the better claim / What made it have the better claim is that it was grassy and wanted wear," possibly describes Frost's desire to not necessarily follow the crowd. This may be because of a feeling of unhappiness that was experienced by following everyone, instead of making decisions for himself. He wants to do more of what has never been done, what is new and different. The desire to travel down both paths is expressed and not unusual, but the speaker of this poem realizes that the decision is not just a temporary one and he "...doubted if I should ever come back."At the end of The Road Not Taken, the regret hangs over the traveler like a heavy cloud about to burst. He realizes that at the end of his life, "somewhere ages and ages hence", he will have regrets about having never gone back and traveling down the roads he did not take. However, he remains proud of his decision and he recognizes that it was this path that he chose that made him turn out the way he did and live his life...

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