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athgarvan

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

Reflecting on my previous post about approaching death, I am reminded of Robert Frost's well-known poem The Road not Taken and ask if I myself have always taken the 'right' roads during my life. Did my choices make all "the difference" or is it not a waste of energy looking back on decisions made in the past? That road to the left looks very threatening.

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 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.

Comments

One of my favourite poems. I have often thought "I took the road less travelled by" would be a nice epitaph for me. Although I think it is human to look back and wonder, at my age I very much like where I am and know that any divergence in the past would most likely not have brought me here today so I am content with my road.
As an epitaph? I would always be afraid someone would scrawl "Oops" next to it. But then most people visiting cemeteries would not have my sense of humour. Phew.
Fortunately I am planning on cremation when the time comes with the ashes scattered or disposed of in some way.
One of my favourite poems. I have often thought "I took the road less travelled by" would be a nice epitaph for me. Although I think it is human to look back and wonder, at my age I very much like where I am and know that any divergence in the past would most likely not have brought me here today so I am content with my road.
Good for you. I don't think I can say he same for myself.
I love this one.


"O see ye not yon narrow road,
So thick beset with thorns and briers?
That is the path of righteousness,
Tho after it but few enquires.

"And see ye not that braid braid road,
That lies across that lily leven?
That is the path of wickedness,
Tho some call it the road to heaven.

"And see not ye that bonny road,
That winds about the fernie brae?
That is the road to fair Elfland,
Where thou and I this night maun gae.

O yes, that is lovely. There are so many verses that give so much matter for reflection.

Edited at 2017-03-30 13:26 (UTC)
It's from the traditional epic Scots ballad: 'Thomas the Rhymer'
As far as I can remember, Robert lived a long and interesting life. I'm sure he's wandered down many a road in his time.

I can only speak for myself, of course, but the thought that strikes me reading this poem is the feeling of ... not nostalgia or regret ... but ... the bittersweet imagining of how different life might had been if I had chosen the other path, multiplied by the many times my life path diverged.
When I was very young I entered a way of life that involved celibacy. I often imagine what my life might have been like had I married and had children.
I have a,ways loved this poem. It has such meaning and it is just so lovely.