The Road Taken (how it happened)

On the way to somewhere else
they met, briefly, on the road not taken,
not the one mistakenly referred to
as the road less traveled.

Two different roads entirely and
there was no map.  So many detours:
walks in the rain; a searching;
a discovering and a letting go.

That’s not to say there was no pain,
a pebble in the shoe, a bruise.
Houses that were never built
stand empty in the memory.

All that didn’t happen
just a paving for the road taken.
Noon sun in a feral burn,
evening laced with starlight,

A garden planted, the bloom
tended. It was more than random,
less than premeditated.
That’s how it happened.

 

Critics claim that Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” isn’t a salute to can-do individualism;  it is a commentary on the self-deception we practice when constructing the story of our own lives. It is touted as the most popular poem ever written in America and also the most misquoted. (most often mistakenly referred to as The Road Less Traveled). (according to The Paris Review)

 

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2 thoughts on “The Road Taken (how it happened)

  1. I agree totally with the comment that “Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” isn’t a salute to can-do individualism; it is a commentary on the self-deception we practice when constructing the story of our own lives.” Bravo. In fact, I dislike this poem, because it is circulated so much in the teaching community as a somehow inspiring message, which it really isn’t. I am interested in misquotation and mistranslation, which can be artforms in their own right. I have one poem that is entirely based on a deliberate mistranslation of Rilke.

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