Monday, May 26, 2014

Advice from Robert Frost

We're introduced to poems like Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken when we're young and have very little idea what they're about. We admire them for their beauty, their lyrical quality, and the images they bring to mind, but we don't feel them. How can we when we've never experienced what the poet is talking about?

It wasn't until now that I read that poem like a mirror reflecting this part of my life back at me from the pen of another writer who'd been through it. People often take the two lines at the end out of context, told by a man reminiscing about a choice he'd made long ago.

I took the one less traveled by
and that has made all the difference. 

In reality, the poet is looking forward, imagining what he'll say at the end of his road, after he's chosen his path. The bulk of the poem is about the decision, the moment of consideration when he's gazing down these two roads, imagining where they lead. It isn't easy. The two roads look almost the same at that moment, and he knows he probably will never be able to revisit the other road. But he makes his decision, and encourages himself that it was the best one.

What I took from this poem is what most people do: the idea of an individual road, one that someone else hasn't traveled for a long time and that you can make your own mark upon. I also got the impression this road is rough, overgrown and difficult in places. There are briars on this road, muddy holes, fallen trees, but there are also beautiful things you wouldn't have seen had you taken the other road.

Every one of us will come to a place like this and have to choose a road. I was already halfway down mine before I realized I'd chosen it. I've been having so much trouble balancing my illustration and my writing, thinking I had to commit to only one or the other. I don't think I'm going to take the direction I originally thought I was, and I'm okay with that. I'll tell you more when I'm further down the road, but for right now everything is as it should be.


  1. That feeling of Place, Person, and Time coming together is a most excellent one, isn't it! :)

  2. It really is. Love this poem!


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