Late yesterday afternoon I needed to get out of the trailer and get some fresh air. A cold front moved in here and there were storm clouds all around us interspersed with blue skies. Very dramatic skyline! Jim was not feeling up for a walk so I bundled up in my winter gear and headed out on my own. I walked and walked along this dirt road heading out into the grassland and never did come to the end of the road. This photograph is very representative of the topography here!
I was reminded of Robert Frost’s iconic poem “The Road Not Taken” as I walked. Many interpretations of this poem exist. I’ve always interpreted the poem to be a narrative about the choices we make in life. More specifically, taking the unconventional approach – the road less traveled -can lead to a more fulfilling outcome. The poem has certainly been wildly analysed over the years. I read where Frost actually wrote this poem as a joke for his friend and fellow poet Edward Thomas. Thomas apparently often would complain on their many walks together that perhaps they should have taken a different path when disappointed by the outcome of the path they chose. Frost was supposedly mocking Thomas’ indecisive nature in the poem. He mentions to Thomas that he was disappointed that the poem was being “taken pretty seriously” when he really just meant it as a joke.
As I read over the poem again, I’m now torn. The title – The Road Not Taken – suggests really two separate thoughts. Which road is the title referring to? Should the reader have taken the more traveled road – the road he did not walk? Or is the title referring to the less traveled road? Is the poem really just a conversation about indecision and not meant as an encouragement towards nonconformity? It could be that it refers to either road being okay – just make the choice and don’t turn back or regret it! What do you think?
This line suggests both roads are equally the same –
This is what happens when you are on the road, hanging out in dispersed camping spots and waiting on word about your job!! I journey from just posting a Photo of the Day to an interpretation discussion on The Road Not Taken! Well – that’s what the photo brought to mind!
While I’m enjoying hiking, biking and being out in nature – I am ready to get back to the work I love!
I appreciated your philosophic ramblings about one of Vermont’s favorite laureates as well as the dramatic silhouette of the tree against the pastoral background.
Perhaps both good poetry and paintings ( and photographs?) are best left to the interpretation of the consumer of those art forms. In reality there is no one TRUE and CORRECT interpretation.
Sheltering in place where daily walks with our pup makes life much better,
I totally agree with you that interpretation is individual – how can it not be? Be well – enjoy your walks with the new puppy!