Poetry Response #2: “The Road Not Taken”
Life is full of choices, some predetermined, some decided on the spot. Sometimes there are monumental choices that will affect the rest of someone’s life, whether they know it or not. The poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is about one of those special moments where one choice will change the course of one person’s life. The speaker believes that depending on the road a person chooses, their life will turn out for better of for worse. Frost uses rhythm and rhyme to make his point.
Without the use of rhythm and rhyme, Frost’s message would not be so perfectly conveyed. For the first stanza of the poem the rhyme scheme is ABAAB. “Yellow wood…lone I stood” (1 and 3), “travel both… in the undergrowth” (2 and 5). Lines one and three are examples of rhyme A while lines 2 and 4 are examples of rhyme B. “Just as fair…wanted wear”, these two lines use rhyme and rhythm to give the poem a beautiful song like quality (6 and 8).
A person almost wants to read it out loud so they can savor the words. However, it is the last couple of lines of the poem that make it memorable. “Ages hence…all the difference”, uses the B rhyme in stanza four to make the lines flow and incorporate the theme, that life is made up of choices, and sometimes the road less traveled leads to the better life. Life is made up of choices. The choices people make in their lifetime not only shape their life, but they can make or break it. Every once in awhile a person is offered a monumental decision that will decide the path of their entire life.
Still, knowing a choice needs to be made does not make it easy to decide. In this line, “sorry…could not travel both”, the speaker does not know which road to take, what decision to make (2). He only knows that he cannot travel both. However, indecision is part of the beauty life. Some of the best choices are result of careful thought. A person does not always have to go the road of the ones before them; they can take an entirely new path with an unknown future.
“One less traveled…made difference” (19 and 20), here the speakers decides, and their choice has indeed changed their life—for the better. It only takes one choice to change a person’s life. That is the point Robert Frost is trying to make in his poem, “The Road Not Taken”. He incorporates a masterful use of rhythm and rhyme to emphasize his message. Choosing between two paths is hard—you can never see what is coming up ahead. Still, all one person can do is pick one road and know in their heart that it was for the best.