Today, for no particular reason, I find this poem to be quite significant. Beyond the beauty, imagery and profound verse of this poem – I am left questioning many things. At first read, this poem delivers the messaging of “Did I make a difference?” With the final sentiments of “I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” But upon further reading, and interpreting, I’m left with realizing that either way he chose to walk, the destination would have been the same. (“Had worn them really about the same.”)
This poem, every time I read it, makes me feel very human. Because whether we choose to be musicians, or poets, or a construction worker – in the end, we are all on the same path, with the same wear, heading in the same direction. Universally human. I have read before (in various opinions of this poem online) that “The Road Not Taken” tears apart the traditional view of individualism. Some might find this thought frustrating, defeating, inaccurate; saying that our choices do have impacts and make large differences in our paths. I find this thought relieving, comforting and true in my world – regardless of the path and the small choices I make, I am among the collective human race.
This poem is not really about “Did I make a difference?” It’s about the strive to make a difference.
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;
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,
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.
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.