Cordell Parvin Blog Developing the Next Generation of Rainmakers

More Words to Think About: The Road not Taken

Posted in Career Development

I received a very nice response to my poetry post last Friday, so I decided to post another one.

There was a time when I was a young adult thinking about my future and the decisions I needed to make. I would eventually go into the United States Air Force. Should I go to law school first? Instead, should I plan to become a teacher and coach?

My dad took me aside and we had a really wonderful father-son chat. He told me about the Robert Frost poem: The Road Not Taken. He told me the point of the poem is I would not know whether I took the right path until I was old and could look back and reflect on the path I had taken. He told me this would be true with most decisions in life I would make.

He was right and now many, many years later I can reflect on the paths I have taken over my career and life. If you are not familiar with the poem, it is one that is frequently misunderstood.  Read it and then read it a second time. Then take a look at the links below to see a couple of analyses.

The Road Not Taken

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

I enjoyed reading: Robert Frost’s Tricky Poem “The Road Not Taken.”  This is the part of the analysis that my dad was pointing out to me.

…But a close reading of the poem proves otherwise. It does not moralize about choice; it simply says that choice is inevitable, but you never know what your choice will mean until you have lived it.

I also found the  summary and analysis in Robert Frost’s Early Poems helpful and interesting.

Do you have a poem, song or quote that inspires you? If so, I invite you to send me a draft guest post for my poetry blogs.