We make plans. The narrow path is the route to following Jesus Christ, and it leads to eternal life: The narrow gate is the raw reality of a daily walk with Christ. After all, the poem is titled ‘The Road Not Taken’, and not ‘The Road Less Travelled’: in other words, Frost’s poem foregrounds to us that it is the road he didn’t take – not the apparently ‘less traveled’ one that he did – which is the real subject of the poem. ‘I came to a fork in the road in the yellow wood through which I was travelling, and wished I could have travelled both paths. Wrongly referred to by many as “The Road Less Traveled,” the poem’s true title, “The Road Not Taken,” references regret rather than pride. It's no wonder the road is less traveled. Frost’s focus is more complicated.

You can read ‘The Road Not Taken’ here.

‘I kidded myself that one of the roads was less well-trodden and so, to be different from the mainstream, that’s the one I took, brave and independent risk-taker and road-taker that I am.’ This isn’t true, but it’s the sort of self-myth-making we often go in for. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. She lives in London with her family of people, dogs, and cats. It appeared in his first collection, Mountain Interval, in 1916; indeed, ‘The Road Not Taken’ opens the volume. Sometimes, it pays to be a little bit naughty, to play hooky from our everyday lives in order to find a deeper meaning and to reflect on what our lives have come to be. The author of this article, Dr Oliver Tearle, is a literary critic and lecturer in English at Loughborough University. Take a different path, just now and then. We do the things society expects of us: college, jobs, taking care of others.

But, no matter how many people we observe choosing the broad road, it is vital that we stick to the narrow one. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The Road Less Traveled Leads to Real Life . Following the old, well-worn routes won’t lead us to new destinations, new experiences, or new opportunities. Frost found Thomas to be an indecisive man, and after he’d written ‘The Road Not Taken’ but before it was published, he sent it to Thomas, whose indecisiveness even extended to uncertainty over whether to follow Frost to the United States or to enlist in the army and go and fight in France.

Pingback: KOMMONSENTSJANE -A Short Analysis of Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’ — Interesting Literature | kommonsentsjane, A really good analysis of a surprisingly tricky poem…. Frost’s narrator comes to a fork in the road and, lamenting the fact that he has to choose between them, takes ‘the one less traveled by’.

Like the Pharisees, we tend to prefer the wide path. Yes, there are blessings along the way, but there are many hardships, too. Breaking with our stale routines could be as simple as taking an afternoon off and spending it alone. The classic Robert Frost poem analysed by Dr Oliver Tearle. For this reason, it’s natural and understandable that many readers take the poem to be Frost’s statement of individualism as a poet: he will take ‘the road less travelled’. The poem moves from a fantasy of staving off choice to a statement of division. I have found similar benefits in “taking the road less traveled” at work. When we take a road less traveled and step off the highway, we discover treasure: A blue jay in flight, a deer leaping, a stream to paddle in, or a shady tree under which to read a sensuous novel… When we travel green lanes and twisting paths we may come across gems of enlightenment. Although the walk of faith is replete with rewards, it's not always a comfortable road.

The genuine servant of God will almost always be in the minority. From there forward, the path includes a daily surrender of our natural self-centered tendencies. When we are stuck in a rut, it can take courage to break free and walk a different path, but just a brief interlude can offer us new perspectives to bring back to our world. Choose a day to ignore the laundry and the spreadsheets and see what else the world has to offer. It is what the Pharisees missed and we can miss, too, if we don't surrender to the Lord's way.

Not how the above paraphrase-as-summary turns into more or less word-for-word recital of Frost’s words in those final few lines of the poem. The way the poem is often summarised – eliding the subtle self-commentary that the poem’s speaker provides – offers a clue to this interpretive misfire. Contrary to what you might hear in many American churches today, the way that leads to eternal life is a difficult, less-traveled path. A road less traveled may seem like a scary choice at first, but sometimes, it can lead us to truly amazing destinations, experiences, and opportunities. The poem’s famous final lines are less a proud assertion of individualism, then, and more a bittersweet example of the way we always rewrite our own histories to justify the decisions we make. train made an unscheduled stop at Adlestrop railway station, may even have been what inspired Thomas to make up his mind, The Secret Library: A Book-Lovers’ Journey Through Curiosities of History, The Great War, The Waste Land and the Modernist Long Poem, KOMMONSENTSJANE -A Short Analysis of Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’ — Interesting Literature | kommonsentsjane. Yet this isn’t true, as the poem’s speaker admits: the two paths are, in fact, equally covered with leaves – one is not ‘less traveled by’ after all, but it suits him to pretend that this was so, as a way of justifying his decision to take one road over the other. Learning Mind has over 50,000 email subscribers and more than 1,5 million followers on social media. Our lives can become small and suffocate without us noticing, but going off-road can expand them until they are as wide and open as an Arizona sky. But when we analyse Frost’s poem more closely, we realise how inaccurate such a summary of the poem is. Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

They don’t need paraphrasing: they’re plain as day.

Enter By the Narrow Path - Matthew 7:13-14, Mary Fairchild is a full-time Christian minister, writer, and editor of two Christian anthologies, including "Stories of Cavalry. It’s also significant here that in Mountain Interval, where it was first published in 1916, ‘The Road Not Taken’ appears as a sort of preface to the poems that follow: it’s typeset in italics rather than Roman type, as if it’s being offered as a test to the reader. Even if it scares us, we need to step out of our comfort zones and take a trip of discovery. When we occasionally break the rules, it can bring us back to life.

Rather than offer a summary of ‘The Road Not Taken’, we’ll undertake a brief paraphrase of the poem’s meaning.

Those whom the broad way of wickedness delights, after brief joy will have endless punishment. Image: Robert Frost in c. 1910, author unknown, via Wikimedia Commons. Both of the roads were covered with leaves and there was no sign, on the morning I passed through that way, that anyone had walked either path yet that day. Our steps along the narrow road may be lonely. But in reality, knowing that one road tends to lead onto another, I doubted whether I would ever come back to this spot. Yet this isn’t true, as the poem’s speaker admits: the two paths are, in fact, equally covered with leaves – one is not ‘less traveled by’ after all, but it … Those who find the narrow gate must search for it deliberately because it isn't obvious or easy to find.

We write lists of things to do, places to go, and people to see. He is the author of, among others, The Secret Library: A Book-Lovers’ Journey Through Curiosities of History and The Great War, The Waste Land and the Modernist Long Poem. There are many ways to be adventurous.

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