The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost

The Poem

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.

The Road Not Taken Summary by Shmoop

Interpretation and Themes

Theme: Choices, all about Choices


Interpretation: This poem is all about choices and how when we come across them in life we have to make them for ourselves. This is shown in the idea of the two paths, or the choices. The character in the play has to choose the path to take in the line "And took the other as just as fair." The character then reflects on it later in life in the lines "I will be telling this with a sigh/Somewhere ages and ages hence"

About the Author

  • Born 1874 in San Francisco, CA
  • Poet known for his depiction of American Life
  • Four-time Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Congressional Gold Medal
  • Wrote many poems, including The Road Not Taken, Fire and Ice, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening, among others
  • Died 1963 in Boston, MA
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