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Analysis and comments on The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

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Comment 215 of 1135, added on September 26th, 2005 at 6:12 PM.

Vanessa, I can hardly believe that you had the nerve to correct one of the
greatest poets alive! You most certainly must be an inexperienced poet. Her
poem was an excellent interpretation, based off of "Robert Frost: The
Biography" I believe. It does seems odd to some, Vanessa, such a strange
interpretation not for shallow minds, but to experienced poets, it is quite
beautiful. Please forgive "Joodie," as she calls herself (that isn't her
real name, of course, I'm sure most people have figured that out who have
read this) for being quite rude today. I'm sure she must be having a
writer's block of some sort or other. I have been to one of her speeches
before, and she is a delightful person in real life.

Also, Jan G. of Germany, I would like to know more about you, and also
wonder why you are questioning "Joodie" as well. What job do you have? This
concerns me, all these people correcting "Joodie," as she humbly calls

Also, "Joodie", are you not from Romania? If you are who I think you are,
you most certainly are not Bulgarian. Bulgarians and Romanians, both jolly
good people of course, doesn't matter either way, but I do believe that you
put down the incorrect country (to disguise yourself, of course).

Signed, John Mark

John Mark III from United Kingdom
Comment 214 of 1135, added on September 26th, 2005 at 2:26 PM.

Vanessa, I hope you know that your words really hurt. Just because you're
angry at me for being Bulgarian doesn't mean that you have to hurt me
feelings. After all, the Americans always say, "If you have nothing nice to
say, don't say nothing." By the way, you can help me revise it if you want!
Rewrite it how you would like it, and please, don't say, "I'd rewrite the
whole thing." Next time, think before you type. The chap from the UK
thought that it was a masterpiece. So maybe I just think differently than
you do. It's alright though, I forgive you. I'm sure you feel awful about
all this.

Joodie from Bulgaria
Comment 213 of 1135, added on September 26th, 2005 at 8:41 AM.

I agree with Joodie. Her interpretation is a literary masterpiece. I
applaud you joodie.

john mark III from United Kingdom
Comment 212 of 1135, added on September 26th, 2005 at 8:36 AM.

Jan, I know that there has been trouble from WW2. Germans in general dont
love Bulgarians, but that's okay, I forgive you. You know I'm right, so you
might as well give up. By the way I wrote the biography, so I think I would
know. So to you: Eif sprechen mir gutzafeen da!

Joodie from Bulgaria
Comment 211 of 1135, added on September 26th, 2005 at 6:50 AM.

1. If poetry, such as any work of art, cannot be understood or appreciated
without background information, it is simply not very good - it is as easy
as that. Fortunately, Frost's poetry does not belong to that latter

Of course additional background reading can help to support or invalidate
interpretations, but it is no substitute for thorough analysis of the text
itself (as any literary critic worth his salt will tell you).

2) Perhaps you are referring to the biography by Meyers or the one by
Thompson & Winnick (both of which are called "Robert Frost: A Biography"),
but since you have not indicated the author's name there is no way to tell.
I doubt that anyone would be so arrogant as to call their book "Robert
Frost: THE Biography", implying it's the definitive one.

3) The problem with that interpretation is: If it cannot be proven from the
poem itself, it is not a valid interpretation. Creative, for sure, but it
does not have much to do with Frost's poem.

Jan G. from Germany
Comment 210 of 1135, added on September 26th, 2005 at 5:22 AM.

Okay I'll try to help you here. Ill put in oreder according to what you
were talking about.
1. As unfortunate as it is for some to find out, examining poetry will not
help you find out how, why, or by who it was written. All great poets such
as myself know this.
2. Just because you haven't heard of a world renowned biography, it's not
my fault. Look it up at your local library, it's very interesting.
3. My poem is based on the interpretation that I know of, not simply
"examining" as you call it.

Joodie from Bulgaria
Comment 209 of 1135, added on September 25th, 2005 at 10:20 PM.

@Joodie: Let me make a few comments:

1) As I have tried to point out, my interpretation does not rely on
secondary literature (or indeed what I have read on the internet) but on a
close-reading analysis of the poem itself. I got to my interpretation when
I first noticed that much of what is all too often said about this poem did
not add up and only afterwards started to do a little bit of research, just
to find out that my interpretation was in accordance with what I found on
the biographical background of the poem and that I was indeed not the only
one reading the poem like that.

2) Of course there is a lot of garbage on the internet, which is why you
have to learn to distinguish which sites are (probably) reliable and which
are suspicious. If a reputable institution such as the Department of
English of an American university publishes a page, containing lengthy
excerpts from several works of secondary literature (cf.
http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/a_f/frost/road.htm), complete with
bibliographical data, I see no reason to doubt the reliability of the
information given there. The bibliographical data regarding the book you're
quoting, on the other hand, is incomplete (e.g. who is the author?), and
frankly I am not aware of a book by that title - and besides, not
everything published in print is reliable either.

3) As to what you are referring to as your interpretation: You have written
a poem somehow inspired by "The Road not Taken". Nothing wrong with that,
but I don't see where you are taking the imagery of death and physical
failure from, and the (religious?) aspect of being saved is not in Frost's
poem either - unless what you are saying can be proven from the poem itself
rather than from some work of secondary literature, the term
"interpretation" is a bit misleading here (at least in an academic sense).

Jan. G
Comment 208 of 1135, added on September 25th, 2005 at 8:15 PM.

This is to the comments made by Jan G. and Googie. It' called internet,
it's unreliable. If you ever read "Robert Frost: The Biography," you would
know that his girlffriend inspired this poem because she dumped him and he
was very angry at the path she had taken. So stop getting the facts wrong!

Joodie from Bulgaria
Comment 207 of 1135, added on September 25th, 2005 at 4:22 AM.

@googie: You're right that "The Road not Taken" was inspired by Frost's
friend Edward Thomas. However, Frost did not write his poem because he was
disappointed in his friend's choices but because Thomas constantly
regretted his own choices, wondering whether the other path would have been
better after all - which Frost seems to have found quite amusing.

In other words Frost wrote this poem in order to tease Thomas about his
pointless sentimentality - and that is exactly what can be found out about
this poem just by reading it closely and carefully, even without consulting
any secondary material. (Apart from the name Edward Thomas, of course, but
the fact Thomas can be seen as being representative of all people who
constantly reflect about their choices in hindsight is what give additional
relevance to this poem.)

Jan G. from Germany
Comment 206 of 1135, added on September 24th, 2005 at 6:00 PM.

This poem is in fact about Robert and his friend Thomas, also a famous
poet. Robert is sarcastically mocking Thomas. The two went on a walk one
day and came across two paths leading to different destinations in this
beautiful wood that Thomas was so fascinated in. Apparently Robert was
disapointed in the choice made by Thomas and thought the other path was
best. This is the reason why the poem is so famous because of people such
as yourself have all made incorrect assumptions on this poems meaning and
purpose. Research this poem on the internet and know your facts.

googie from United Kingdom

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Information about The Road Not Taken

Poet: Robert Frost
Poem: 1. The Road Not Taken
Volume: Mountain Interval
Year: 1916
Added: Feb 1 2004
Viewed: 1387 times

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