“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.
I just had to put that poem up there because Robert Frost, my literature lecturers and my 100 level self won’t forgive me if I didn’t. The above poem was the first poem I fell in love with as a student of English at the University of Lagos. At first, like all brilliant poems, it made absolutely no sense to me. It wasn’t until I Googled how to analyze poems and devotedly followed the steps before I actually understood what the poem meant and when I did, it was just amazing!
I remember scribbling on over four pages to effectively convey what I felt the poem meant and what it implied. The Road Not Taken is something we’d always relate to. By we, I mean humans, of course. At various points in our lives, we’re faced with crossroads and for those who have encountered this poem at one point or the other, the poem comes back reminding us that we’re not alone at that point of indecision.
At that point where two roads diverge (diverge means separate, by the way) the fear of making the wrong choice haunts us. We worry about what lays at the end of both roads and as always, we wish we had the ability to just have a glimpse of what the future had in store for us at the end of both roads so we’d be able to make the right choice without an iota of doubt. We’d always regret not being able to know what the other path holds for us. Truly, the only thing we can do is trust the path we’re on and hope that we made the right choice.
Although we could hope that someday in the near or far future, we’d be able to come back and see what the other path had for us, we need to know that we can’t eat our cake and have it and as Robert Frost rightly said, “… knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back…” You may never come back to that point ever again.
To conclude, whenever you find yourself at that point where two roads diverged and you’re not sure which one to take, always remember that the worst decision you could ever make is no decision. This means that you spending so much time at that point where the roads diverged is you making a wrong move. Take a path and follow where it leads. Let your heart guide you, but don’t forget to use your eyes.
One day, you’ll tell your story too. Either with a happy sigh or a sad one, you’ll tell of how two roads diverged and you took the one less traveled by.