The Road Not Taken

“The Road Not Taken” is one of the best poems of Robert Frost. This poem is known as a narrative poem where the narrator tells a story to its readers of a journey.

Here, the narrator says about a way he rejected. According to the narrator, it could be beautiful and life also can go in a different way.

Robert Frost is an American Poet but he spends his days from 1912 to 1915 in England. At this time he gets inspiration for writing this poem “The Road Not Taken”.

The Road Not Taken Theme

The central theme of Frost’s poem is the choice of humans. Sometimes people choose a wrong path that let their life poisonous and some choose the right way that takes themselves to the top of success.

So, the poet tries to say that choosing a decision is like two way that you have select on which you will walk.

The Road Not Taken Summary


The poem is divided into three stanzas and each stanza consists of five lines. The first line of the poem starts with a description of a road where it has diverged in a ‘yellow woods’.

The first line is the expression of poet’s vision where he has arrived and he has to choose a path to go in. And he is saying in the next line,

“And sorry I could not travel both”


So, from this line, it is clear that the narrator is going to choose only one path from where he can never get back. This is like a journey that is going to occur.

Now he is saying that he is looking down, he is trying to look how long he can see. The road is being bent so that the narrator perhaps can not see clearly the underground.

The Road Not Taken
The Road Not Taken

So, the first stanza ends here with the narrator’s superstitious mind. He does not know how the road will be. He is objectifying the road and trying to speak of the journey of life from where nobody comes back.

This is like a philosophical view of the poet because he is thinking about his previous years where he had to choose a single way.

“Then I took the other, as just as fair,”

Now, in the second stanza, he is saying that took another way by leaving one that is fair enough and he also does not know about what to happen.

Now the narrow is thinking that maybe this road is better than the others though he does not know very well. The poet is claiming that it would be a better option to choose.

“Because it was grassy and wanted wear;”

This way is grassy where the narrator started walking and perhaps he is addressing winter by the phrase ‘wanted wear’.

In the next line, the narrator is telling that he was passing the wintry road and as it was too frosty he had to warm all them with whom he was walking.

So the term ‘winter’ is personified and also is being highlighted.

Now, in the third stanza, the narrator is addressing the morning as

“And both that morning equally lay”

Here, it is clear that the narrator is comparing these both read where the morning comes at least and these both are like the same. When the narrator leaves the steps going up ahead he never marked any step that was ‘trodden black’.

The Road Not Taken Lyrics

The Lyrics of the Poem
The Lyrics of the Poem

This line speaking of a symbol of human life where people step ahead without having any backing. This line also provides the importance of ‘Time’ one is passing away and one day death covered to reach death. Now, he is enunciation,

“Oh, I kept the first for another day!”

This line is very significant as he tries to speak of his way of life. He just stepped a leg for a day and will step up another foot for another day and the day will pass away from the narrator’s life.

The narrator does not know how much way is left to the end and where the road will end. These lines are significantly issued because he speaks on his life that will end once.

“I doubted if I should ever come back.”

The poet is now saying that he is doubting his way if he wants to come back or have to get back to the position the ways diverged. This stanza ends here with the narrator’s imagination.

Now he is uttering, he will be telling with a keen sigh like passing of ages and ages. Two roads get diverged and that becomes different. The Narrator further says that he chooses the way where he had to less travel that makes a difference to him.

“And that has made all the difference.”

The last is very important for the readers. Here, he is saying that that way makes all changes to the poet’s life, and because of choosing this way, he is in the path that he can not leave forever.

The Road Not Taken Analysis

This poem can be called as a ‘philosophical poem’ because it consists of many real factors. In the first stanza, he starts speaking of the way and how he is thinking of that.

But in the next stanza, he does not speak about the same because he overcomes the fear of taking a new decision. And now at last he tells about its journey how he traveled it. Richard is of the opinion,

“I found this interpretation to be very eye-opening as well, because I agree that we are always making little decisions, not realizing that these decisions lead us to situations where we will have to make more choices… Life has a funny way of working itself out, and it is by these little, seemingly insignificant decisions that bigger and brighter ones are built for the future.”

The Road Not Taken Literary Devices

Stylistic devices used are hyperbole, consonancealliterationantithesismetaphors, images, and allusions. The author also uses figurative language in order to enrich meaning.

Some poetic devices are the assonance in the poem’s first line, emphasizing the “o” sound in “roads” and “yellow,” the alliteration in the third line of the second stanza with “wanted wear,” and, within this same line, the personification in the road “it was grassy and wanted wear.” The poem, overall, is a metaphor for the different directions one takes in life.

Rhyme Scheme

This poem is written in iambic tetrameter and the rhyme scheme is “abaab”. This is a perfect narrative poem of the hand of Robert Frost.

In this poem, a reader will find “Enjambment” which means the continuation of thoughts. From the first stanza to the second there is a use of enjambment.

Questions and Answers

What is the meter of the poem The Road Not Taken?

This poem is written in iambic tetrameter.

What did Robert Frost say about the road not taken?

Robert Frost said to expose his life.

What is the main point of the road not taken?

The central point is choosing a path that would be the best for man.

Does the poet regret his decision?

No, the poet never shows and regret.

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