The Road Not Taken


Some say this poem represents the quintessential American expression of free will, but many get its meaning wrong. Frost's oft-quoted poem was published in his poetry collection, Maintain Interval (1916). Both paths were actually equally worn, the author planned to recreate the scene for others later with a slight twist: He will claim that he took the less-traveled road. Read more.
The Road Not Taken
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 marked 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. 

The Road Not Taken was featured as The Short Story of the Day on Sun, Mar 26, 2023

This poem is featured in our selection of Poetry for Students, 100 Great Poems, and Pulitzer Prize Poetry.


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