He considers both paths and concludes that each one is equally well-traveled and appealing. You see, while it may come as a shock to those of us that had a habit of occasionally nodding off in school, the poem has more than just three lines, and the true meaning of most of it is fairly obvious if you just read the entire thing all the way through. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Immediately, he realizes that as a traveller travelling both the roads is impossible. The poet here saves the first road for another day. Finally, the last line expresses that the individual is also planning to claim that his choice to take this less travelled road made all the difference, in where he will be standing at the time.
Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. These two potential poems revolve around each other, separating and overlapping like clouds in a way that leaves neither reading perfectly visible. Then there is the other audience. Until it was discontinued in late 2012, a tool called Google Insights for Search allowed anyone to see how frequently certain expressions were being searched by users worldwide over time and to compare expressions to one another. And he admits that someday in the future he will recreate the scene with a slight twist: He will claim that he took the less-traveled road.
Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. Yet he knows it is unlikely that he will have the opportunity to do so. Decisions are nobler than whims, and this reframing is comforting, too, for the way it suggests that a life unfolds through conscious design. So in the last stanza when the narrator says he took the road less traveled by, that results in a good thing. Like most of us do.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, There are these two roads. Admittedly, the popularity of poetry is difficult to judge. As the tone becomes increasingly dramatic, it also turns playful and whimsical. The yellow leaves on the ground weren't crushed by people walking on them, breaking them up, causing them to decompose. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution © Knight Library Special Collections, University of Oregon.
The difference, the life, is created in the telling, something that Frost does, of course, masterfully. This tonal shift subtly illustrates the idea that the concept of choice is, itself, a kind of artifice. He became woefully ashamed of what he perceived as his cowardice in the matter. Defining the wood with one feature prefigures one of the essential ideas of the poem: the insistence that a single decision can transform a life. In leaves no step had trodden black.
These lines are an example of imagery. Both paths had fallen leaves and no sign that anyone had taken either path recently Oh, I kept the first for another day! The second is the parodic poem that Frost himself claimed to have originally had in mind, in which the dominant tone is one of self-dramatizing regret for a path not taken by the speaker. It is a poem about the necessity of choosing that somehow, like its author, never makes a choice itself—that instead repeatedly returns us to the same enigmatic, leaf-shadowed crossroads. However, this message is not spelled out in the poem. It reads naturally or conversationally, and begins as a kind of photographic depiction of a quiet moment in woods. A tap would have settled my poem. Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.
However, he realizes that it is unlikely that he will ever have the opportunity to come back to this specific point in time because his choice of path will simply lead to other forks in the road and other decisions. And sorry I could not travel both 3. But the nature of the decision is such that there is no Right Path—just the chosen path and the other path. 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. No matter where we end up, and how informed, tempting and satisfying our choices were, we will always wonder the what if-s and the could have been-s of the other opportunities that we left behind. Line thirteen is an important point in this poem as this is when the individual finalizes his decision of leaving the other road, for perhaps another time.
This reading of the poem is subtly different from, and bolder than, the idea that existence is merely subject to the need to make decisions. The wonderful title evokes the rural hinterland of New England, away from the Boston society and economy. However, as the poem reveals, that design arises out of constructed narratives, not dramatic actions. What It Means: This is the most telling stanza of the poem. But you yourself can resurrect it from zombie-hood by reading it—not with imagination, even, but simply with accuracy.