Q:

The Best Adventure Poems: 'The Road Not Taken'

May 15, 2012
Outside
Outside Magazine
Forked path

Forked path via Shutterstock    Photo:CWB

A:

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.
—Robert Frost

You probably remember this ubiquitous poem from grade-school English classes. Frost wrote the work to poke fun at a friend, poet Edward Thomas, who would often agonize over which path to take when the two were on walks in the woods. But the poem's longevity owes a lot to its universal appeal. As travelers, we never know with certainty if we’re following the correct path, and always wonder about other options that we could have taken. The narrator tells himself he’ll come back to the other path some day, but knows that, as in life, once you travel down one road, you can’t cover the same ground again.

Filed To: Adventure Adviser

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