Welcome to the Road Not Taken

Geometry, Machu Picchu

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Robert Lee Frost (1874 – 1963) is, in the estimation of many, the greatest American poet of the 20th century and one of the greatest poets writing in English in the 20th century. Frost won a Pulitzer Prize in 1924, 1931, 1937, and 1943. His works explore the relationships between individuals and between people and nature. "The Road Not Taken" first appeared in his collection 'Mountain Interval' in 1916.  






The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost

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.

See: Spanish version



Mountain Interval by Robert Frost. Book Front Cover. Publisher: Henry Holt & Company. Place Published: New York. Date Published: 1921.


Some ideas:

  • Anna Nicole Smith: The Road Not Taken; Author/Expert on Women's Issues--She Turned Playboy Down--Goes Behind the Story.

  • Chemistry professor clarifies process that allows humans to see in low light reciting "The Road Not Taken"

  • The Road Not Taken: Forfeiting a Majority.

  • Never too late for the road not taken.

  • "A Road Not Taken," a Frost poem that evokes emotions.

  • Career: to spend three or four years vicariously pursuing the road not taken.

  • The question of the road not taken would be irrelevant in the lifestyles that they have chosen for themselves.

  • School search reminds of road not taken.

  • Weighing the costs and benefits of the war, he would choose the road not taken.

  • For me, studying Humanities is about being on the road not taken.

  • She describes in detail a road not taken.

  • In the daydreams of the delayed holiday traveler, the road not taken just had to be the less congested one.

  • Does J.K. Rowling explore the road not taken?

  • He spend the rest of his life regretting the road not taken.

  • A journey on a road not taken, until now.

  • The importance of being flexible in pursuing their goals and following the road not taken.

  • The road not taken is a fantasy.

  • The Road Not Taken is a symbolic poem of the complications people must face in the course of their lives.

  • The road not taken, yet.

  • The road not taken is up for discussion.

  • A road not taken from here to maternity.

  • For 2, the road not taken.

  • The road not taken has in it a few thorns. The reality is only to stay away from them.

  • There will always be a road not taken, and we will never know where, for worse or for better, it might have led.

  • "To every young athlete within the sound of my voice, it takes courage to dream your dream," Rayfield Wright said. "Don't let them sit in the locker room. Take a leap of faith. ... Don't be afraid to travel the road less traveled because Larry Rayfield Wright did, and you can, too."

  • ...And the road not taken will remain just as unknown and neglected as it has been for so long now.

  • Telecommute road not taken: many workers choose to go into the office even if they can work from home.

  • Auto Racing; Road Not Taken: Allmendinger is shifting to Nascar.

  • If you have sufficient faith that you can resist the endless attraction of the road not taken and the partner not chosen.


Stephen R. Covey from The 8th Habit

"Everyone chooses one of two roads in life - the old and the young, the rich and the poor, men and women alike. One is the broad, well-traveled road to mediocrity, the other the road to greatness and meaning. The range of possibilities that exists within each of these two destinations is as wide as the diversity of gifts and personalities in the human family. But the contrast between the two destinations is as the night is to the day. The path to mediocrity straitjackets human potential. The path to greatness unleashes and realizes human potential." Stephen R. Covey from The 8th Habit.



Chemistry professor clarifies process that allows humans to see in low light reciting "The Road Not Taken"

December 4, 2006. Source: University of Connecticut, Advance by Michael Kirkh.

UConn chemistry professor Bob Birge explains a new discovery that he and several Canadian colleagues made about the process that allows humans to see in low light by reciting Robert Frost's poem, “The Road Not Taken.”

In the poem, a traveler comes upon two roads and chooses to take one path to his destination over the other.

It ends with the verses: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I/I took the one less traveled by ...”

In findings published in the journal Science last month, Birge says he and his colleagues have discovered that lasers can manipulate the efficiency of photochemistry in a protein called “bacteriorhodopsin.”

The discovery has implications not only for this protein, which is a proton pump in an ancient material called “archaea-bacterium,” but for all proteins that interact with the human eye that absorb light.

The most important retinal protein is rhodopsin, which is responsible for vision in humans and other animals with image-resolving eyes.

The study provides further evidence that evolution has created a coherent process to convert light energy into chemical energy in these proteins.

It also provides the first evidence that by using laser light, the efficiency of these processes can be increased or decreased by 20 percent.

“Most everything in life is incoherent,” says Birge.

“When we explore options in our lives, we make choices and go down those paths and accept the consequences. In a given day, we make many choices, and because those choices are available each day, each person experiences life differently. To Frost, that was what made life interesting, and in his poem he encouraged people to explore paths not normally taken.”

But the availability of many options is not always efficient, Birge says.

“Sometimes people choose options that set them back and complicate, or thwart, the achievement of goals. Nature has to limit choices to make processes efficient.

At the end of Frost's poem, the traveler, having chosen which path to take, notes that taking the one less traveled by “has made all the difference.”

Says Birge, “Apparently nature has preselected the path that all rhodopsin proteins must take during vision down to the atomic level, and that has made all the difference in our ability to see.”  More.

See Also:


The Road Not Taken. Spanish version.


Robert Frost Poem Discovered.  Grad student finds Frost poem lost for 88 years while searching through material in Special Collections.


The Road Not Taken Puzzle. Robert Frost's poem, puzzle 48 pieces of USA map.