Today, I am thankful for the following poem:
“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;
Thought 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 had made all the difference.
I vividly recall standing before Coach Mayer’s middle school English class reciting this poem. I chuckle quietly, thinking of how I didn’t understand what that poem meant, or even that different people could derive different meanings from the same words.
Here’s what I think:
I don’t think Frost was saying that the only road that makes the difference is the one that is literally, less traveled. He makes a point to explain in two of four stanzas that, “both that morning equally lay,” and the are, “really about the same.” I think it’s about moving forward in a manner unique to you. Moving forward down the less traveled road of integrity? Hopefulness? Joy?
How will you move forward down a less traveled road? I’m on my way.