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The Road Not Taken - Essay Example

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Summary
“The road not taken” was penned down by Robert Frost back in 1916 and was contained in Mountain Interval. Frost is known to be one of the greatest American poets to have emerged. The poem in question represents various aspects of Frost’s life in a rather delicate and judicious manner…
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The Road Not Taken

Download file to see previous pages... The prominent literary movement that can be observed within the poem is iambic tetrameter with four stressed syllables present per line. This poem has two more distinctions – one that it is considered by many as Frost’s most popular work and two that this poem is considered very tricky by Frost himself. (Grimes, 2006) There is controversy to whether the poem in question was directed more at the poet’s life than at someone else. One of Frost’s own statements from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference of 1953 provides great insight (Ballantine, 2003): "One stanza of 'The Road Not Taken' was written while I was sitting on a sofa in the middle of England: Was found three or four years later, and I couldn't bear not to finish it. I wasn't thinking about myself there, but about a friend who had gone off to war, a person who, whichever road he went, would be sorry he didn't go the other. He was hard on himself that way." The reference to the friend here is fellow poet Edward Thomas. The poet and Thomas used to take long walks together through a forest. After each walk, the poet noticed that Thomas regretted not having taken the path that they did not take. Thomas would relate that they might have missed quite some things on the path that they did not travel on. ...
The poet lived a life filled with grief and misery to a large extent but it must be noted that these problems could not dissuade Frost from displaying his true genius as a poet. The poem will provide a glimpse of this as we go along the explication. Moreover, some of the core beliefs that the poet held throughout life will be seen reflecting prominently from this poem. Perhaps, none is more apparent than Frost’s statement: “I have discovered three words about life – it goes on.” The poem starts out with the first verse relating the splitting of paths. The paths “diverged in a yellow wood”. Using these words, the poet expresses two distinct things. One thing is that the path that the author was travelling on has come to a crossroads. Secondly, the poet has come to a “yellow wood” that signifies the onset of autumn when the New England countryside turns yellow. The poet spent a great deal of his life is New England and was known for his affiliation to rustic countryside scenes. His use of vivid imagery to transmit social and personal phenomenon is nothing new therefore the use of the term “yellow wood” signifies the author standing at a cross roads having a difficult decision to execute. One literary device in use over here is the antithesis whereby the author is torn between which paths to take. The poet moves into the second verse by indicating that he feels sad at not being able to travel both paths being offered. Here the poet can be seen to be tugging his friend Edward Thomas’ line of thinking. Thomas held every single time that he missed out on the path that he did not travel on. Similarly, the poet wants to travel both paths simultaneously so that he does not miss out on anything ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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