Friday, August 10, 2007

The Road Not Taken : An Analysis

Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” has been one of the most analyzed, quoted, anthologized poems in American poetry. About the poem, Frost asserted, "You have to be careful of that one; it's a tricky poem - very tricky." And he is, of course, correct. The poem has been and continues to be used as an inspirational poem, one that to the undiscerning eye seems to be encouraging self-reliance, not following where others have led. But a close reading of the poem proves otherwise. It does not moralize about choice, it simply says that choice is inevitable but you never know what your choice will mean until you have lived it.

I feel, from the poem we can't make out any positive or negative conclusion. For example, as in the line And that has made all the difference, the poet has never mentioned anything in the poem which can conclude whether the difference is a positive or a negative one. Also as in I shall be telling this with a sigh, the sigh can mean a nostalgic relief or a regret.

So Frost was absolutely correct; his poem is tricky—very tricky. But only if we are not careful readers. If we read into poems claims that are not there. And in this poem, it is important to be careful with the time frame. As we read in the line Somewhere ages and ages hence, poet's evaluation of the difference of his choice made are still in the future. He will be reporting sometime in the future how his road choice turned out, we have to realize that we cannot assign meaning to “sigh” and “difference,” because the speaker himself cannot know how his choice will affect his future, until after he has lived it.


The poem justifies my funda of life, "Past is gone, future is yet to come, so live the present; its a gift and don't worry about the choices you are making. You never know whether you have to regret or feel glad about the choices you are making today or whether the difference will be a positive or a negative". Just Live and Let Live !!!

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1 comment:

vinci said...

Finally .. road not taken !! and u took this only !! :) ...

abt the personal comments u hav added, do u really think u follow them ?? hmmm .. may be ... and may not be !!