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.
~ Robert Frost
Since we named our blog from a line in this, one of the most famous poems ever published, I thought I’d comment on the misuse of it. I was reading some modern commentaries about Frost (how do you think I made it through college as an English Major?) and realized what I’d forgotten about it.
Unlike the graduation cards that recite parts of this poem, the road less traveled by is not less worn, evidenced in because it was grassy and wanted wear; though as for that, the passing there had worn them really about the same.
The telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence actually is the author’s forecast of telling an untrue version of the walk in the woods. He is saying that in the retelling he will dress it up a bit, poetic license, if you will, gives him the right to say that he chose the one less traveled by. In fact, they were equally untrodden…. hmm.
For two grandmas who left the Midwest in 2008 in an RV, we’ve maybe chosen the path less traveled but it wasn’t because Frost or because M. Scott Peck made a fortune with a turn of the phrase, however inaccurate… but for other reasons.
What’s reasons, you ask? I don’t know. Let’s ask Debbie tonight when she takes night duty again. (When she gets up. She sleeps during the days while I guard the gate.)