Archive for January 2, 2011

Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”

I guess I’m on a poetry kick, can’t explain why except one can get philosophical about one’s existence with snow all around and shorter days that are thankfully lengthening.  When I was taking classes at University of Minnesota in Minneapolis I took a class on poetry. I discovered that I prefer formalist poets like Robert Frost (1874-1963), Robert Louis Stevenson and Emily Dickinson.  I like it when a poem rhymes and has a certain meter to follow.  Other enthusiasts prefer the random kind of prose that has less structure.

In this famous poem by Frost, he writes about going the road less traveled which is what Ken and I are doing. That has made all the difference, our living and working in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Mountain Interval.  1920.
1. The Road Not Taken
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; 5
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, 10
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. 15
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. 20

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