The Road Not Taken

poetry

It may not be the “cool” thing for me to admit this to you, but I am an old soul that enjoys reading poetry.  One of my favorites is:

The Road Not Taken

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.

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ROBERT FROST

This poem has been referred to in speeches, recited at graduations, shared as guidance for those struggling with life choices, and even quoted when citing scriptures to reflect upon one’s faith.  Although The Road Not Taken is secular literature, I find that it has biblical metaphors present.

One that comes to mind is Matthew 7:13 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat” Matthew 7:14 “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

The strait gate, we are told is not easy, that it is narrow and is the more difficult gate to enter. However, it will lead you to eternal happiness. In contrast, the wide gate is the easier path, the broader path, the one most often traveled but it will lead to destruction.

road-not-taken22

What biblical metaphors have you discovered in this poem or any other of your favorite poems?

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Posted on March 8, 2013, in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. The Road Not Taken has always been one of my favorites, too. 🙂 I also love just about anything by T.S. Eliot. One of my favorites is The Hollow Men. It’s a little depressing but there are obvious biblical elements in many of his poems. I have always remembered the end of The Hollow Men:
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but with a whimper.

    I don’t think he’s talking about the apocalypse and the real “end of the world” but I have always loved that and like to ponder how many different ways it can be taken. Eliot also seems to lament the loss of God and religion in our lives and how that makes the world a sadder place. For instance, these lines from Choruses from The Rock:

    But nearness to death no nearer to God.
    Where is the Life we have lost in the living?
    Where is the wisdom we have lost in the knowledge?
    Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
    The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
    Bring us farther from God and nearer to Dust.

    OK so obviously I’m kind of a T.S. Eliot fangirl.;) I haven’t gone into deep study of his life and poems and motivations, but I remember them from college, that he was my favorite and that while in the foreign study program in England, I became particularly fascinated with his work. Interested to see what other examples are posted 🙂

  2. Okay, I know… you’re talking poetry… and I used to really love poetry, not that I don’t love it now, but it’s been a while.
    However, songs in a way are poetry, right? And, while reading your post, Lenny Kravitz came to mind.
    His song BELIEVE, lyrics by DUNN/WISEMAN is blatantly Biblical.

    One stanza says:

    The Son of God is in your face
    Offering us eternal grace
    If you want it you’ve got to believe
    ‘Cause being free is just a state of mind
    We’ll one day leave this all behind
    Just put your faith in God
    And one day you’ll see it
    If you want it you got it
    You just got to believe
    Believe in yourself
    ‘Cause it’s all just a game
    We just want to be loved

    This isn’t the only Kravitz song that comes to mind.

    ARE YOU GONNA GO MY WAY has these lyrics by ROSS, CRAIG DAVID/KRAVITZ

    I was born long ago
    I am the chosen I’m the one
    And I won’t leave until I’m done

    We must engage and rearrange
    And turn this planet back to one

    And in GOD IS LOVE (HIRSCH, HENRY J. / KRAVITZ, LENNY) he says it all:
    God is love
    Through all your trials and tribulations
    God is love
    He’ll get you through all situations
    God is love
    And if you are ready He always is ready for you

    God loves everyone
    That’s why He gave His son, oh yeah
    And you should feel His pain
    Yet He gave us everything


    And though much time has passed
    His words and promises always last
    And I am here to say
    That He loves each one of us in every way

    God is love
    He makes the rain that makes the flowers
    God is love
    And so amazing are His powers
    God is love
    And if you are ready He’s gonna be ready for you

    I’m a wee bit of a Lenny Fangirl- can you tell?
    I love the references you make… actually, I’ve always wanted to plant a labyrinth that reflects these verses… two paths, leading to two very different center pieces. The thorny, rocky path leading to the beautiful garden. The beautiful, paved path leading to the dead center, full of briers and thorns – or perhaps just NOTHING at all would be waiting at the end.
    Thanks for the great post!

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