How to write a poem like the road not taken

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How to write a poem like the road not taken

Karl Smallwood 10 comments Robert Frost is one of the most critically acclaimed American poets of the 20th century, which is a roundabout way of saying you almost certainly studied one of his poems in school.

Most likely, it was a short piece called The Road Not Taken- a poem famous for being one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted poems ever written, and a testament to how twisted the meaning of something can be by taking a quote out of context.

To begin with, the part of the poem most everyone is intimately familiar is the last three lines: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. You see, while it may come as a shock to those of us that had a habit of occasionally nodding off in school, the poem has more than just three lines, and the true meaning of most of it is fairly obvious if you just read the entire thing all the way through.

To wit, the protagonist of the poem goes out of his way to make it clear that the two paths are virtually identical- neither is more traveled than the other. 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; From this, you might actually think one was less trodden, except for the next line when the traveler explains he was really just casting about trying to find some reason to take one road or the other in the previous lines and that in truth the roads seemed equally traveled: 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.

With no reason to choose one road over the other, the traveler takes one, then consoles himself that he will simply come back another time and see where the other road goes… before admitting that in this thought he was really just trying to fool himself once again, as he had tried to do previously by attempting to convince himself one path was less traveled than the other: Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. In the end, he states the most famous part of this poem, though including two key lines that are generally omitted when people are quoting the last stanza of this piece: I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: But is there any actual evidence to support one interpretation over the other, at least as far as Frost was intending when he wrote it if he had any real intent at all?

According to Frost, the poem was about his very close friend Edward Thomas, a fellow writer and eventual poet in his last years who Frost got to know very well during his time in England in the early 20th century.

Frost later noted that during their random walking about, frequently a choice had to be made over which path to take. Inevitably one would be chosen for one reason or another and after their walks, Thomas would sometimes kick himself for not taking the other path if their walk failed to result in the sighting of anything interesting.

Thomas reportedly misinterpreted it. This is something of a surprise move as Thomas was not noted for being particularly patriotic, at least in terms of caring one way or the other about the politics of the conflict resulting in WWI.

What Really Started WWI Indeed, he was noted as being an anti-nationalist who despised the propaganda and blatant racism against Germans being thrown about in the British media at the time.

how to write a poem like the road not taken

He even went so far as to state that his real countrymen were not Englishmen, but the birds. Would he flee for safer shores, or stand and defend his country?


One of the events occurred shortly after the start of WWI. Thomas noted in his journal, a sky of dark rough horizontal masses in N. The second event that influenced his decision was something he often lamented after in letters. This concerned a matter of what he perceived to be cowardice on his part, though most of us might consider that he was being the only reasonable one in the ordeal.

Frost even nearly decided to bring his fists to the gun fight, but put them down after observing Thomas backing away as Frost was escalating the situation.The poem- The Road Not Taken is by the real life dilemma faced by Robert Frost. He wanted to become a great poet and he even wrote good poems but many publishing houses in Ame rica rejected them.

The Road Not Taken Launch Audio in a New Window. 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 More About This Poem The Road Not Taken By Robert Frost About this Poet.

The sequence of their correspondence on the poem is a miniature version of the confusion “The Road Not Taken” would provoke in millions of subsequent readers: (1) Frost sends the poem to Thomas, with no clarifying text, in March or April of Why is the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost important to you?

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What inspired Robert Frost to write the poem "The Road Not Taken"? The title of this poem may be the key to its interpretation. The title is not, as it is often mistaken to be, "The Road Less Traveled," but is "The Road Not Taken." If the title were "The Road Less.

how to write a poem like the road not taken

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Instantly eliminate typos, grammatical errors, and other writing issues with a single click. How many people live a life like in the poem "The road not taken"?

What poem is similar to "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost? | eNotes