The Road Not Taken is a poem by American poet Robert Frost, first published in 1915 and now one of the most popular in the English language. It describes two paths diverging in a wood and a traveller deciding which path to follow. The two divergent paths are clearly metaphorical, the poem’s speaker reflecting later in life that the choice to walk down the less usual route "has made all the difference". Our interpretation of the poem, then, would appear to be that one should take the road less travelled by – follow your own path rather than following the crowd.
Or would it? Frost is known for undermining some of his own grand statements about life. The poem makes clear that the two paths are almost indistinguishable: the paths are worn "really about the same, / And both that morning equally lay’". So could the poem’s final lines actually be a tongue-in-cheek commentary on how we like to exaggerate the significance of the decisions we make in our lives? The road "less travelled" wasn’t really "less travelled’" – it was the same as its partner.
Frost himself wrote the poem as a joke for his friend and fellow poet Edward Thomas, who was often indecisive about which route to take when the two went walking together: whichever road they went, Thomas would regret they hadn’t taken the other. After Frost returned to New Hampshire in 1915, he sent Thomas an advance copy of The Road Not Taken. Thomas took the poem to heart, and it may have contributed to his decision to enlist as a soldier in World War One. He was killed two years later.
However you interpret the poem, we hope you enjoy this tea towel. The image in the background is based on Camille Pissarro’s painting Sous-bois à Mouret.
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Good quality, beautiful design and positive message. Just too expensive to be really good value. Would buy more often for gifts, if I could afford to.