Poetry Explication

The Road Not Taken by: Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost (HD)


The speaker is walking through the woods and comes across a fork in the road. He or she stands there contemplating which side of the fork to begin walking along. The speaker notices that one side looks as though nobody has ever walked down it, and the other side looks as though several people have been walking on it. Then, he finally decides to go down the road that looks as though nobody has traveled on.


The poem tells a story of the speaker's journey in the woods. Though the identity of the speaker is unknown, it can be concluded that the speaker is a peaceful person, based on the mood of the poem. The speaker appears to be trustworthy, because he or she is simply telling a story about a walk through the forest, and would not gain or loose anything from twisting the truth.


There are 20 lines divided into 4 stanzas. A majority of the punctuation appears at the end of each line (end-stopped line). Lines 3 and 19, however, have punctuation in the middle of the line. This is probably to make the reader pause and think of the lines that he or she just read. The title of the poem relates directly to the situation that the speaker is in. After coming to the fork in the road, the speaker decides to take the road that had been neglected by so many people, because of their fear of the unknown.


This poem uses a lot of imagery. The speaker says that the wood is yellow, suggesting that it is probably autumn. He or she describes the road as having undergrowth meaning that there are a lot of trees and shrubs growing on the road. The road having undergrowth shows that nobody has used that road. The poem is an extended metaphor, comparing the diverged roads to life. In life we must face decisions and that could mean deciding between going with the norm (the road most traveled by) or the unknown (the road less traveled by). The speaker decided to go into the unknown and that one decision has completely changed his or her life.

Musical Devices

The peom has a regular rhyme scheme: ABAAB CDCCD EFEEF GHGGH. The rhyme scheme gives the peom adds to the calming and peacful effect of the poem. The lines of the poem are in irregular meters of stressed and unstressed syllables. Some lines have five meters, some have four meters, and some have a certain number of meter then half of a meter.
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Works Cited

"1. The Road Not Taken. Frost, Robert. 1920. Mountain Interval." 1. The Road Not Taken. Frost, Robert. 1920. Mountain Interval. N.p., 1993. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.