Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sometimes I wonder...

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.


Blogger Tobie said...

I read once that the poem was written to make fun of all his contemporary touchy-feely poets making a huge angsty deal out of every little thing. I would never have thought of such a reading, but it works as well as a parody as it does as a real semi-melancholy reflection. Weird, huh?

November 22, 2010 5:06 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

I had never heard this before - though after your comment I did look it up on Wikipedia and there is quite a bit of information there - though it seems a bit different from what you're saying.

When I read the poem recently, I did notice that it didn't quite make sense - he says that the roads looked about the same at the junction, so how would he know that one was less traveled.

November 22, 2010 11:14 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

I think the reason I remembered this poem is not the conclusion, but the image of standing at a crossroads and realizing that you cannot travel two diverging roads - a choice has to be made, and once it is made, you no longer have the option of choosing the second alternative.

This becomes more poignant with age.

Is this true, or is it an illusion, a sign of defeatism? Don't know. I think it is true for most things. Each choice you make reduces your degree of freedom just a little more. Like walking through a maze and then finding out that you have been going down a dead end and there is no time to backtrack...

November 22, 2010 11:18 AM  

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