Friday, August 7, 2015

What is Your "Road Not Taken"?

Why read Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken"? Why listen to the poet read it? Try listening, then see if you agree with me....


As an English teacher, I've read the poem, "The Road Not Taken"  by Robert Frost many times. I read it as a student. I've taught it over several years. Many of you have read it or studied it along the way, too. I've examined it line by line with Freshmen, annotating it along the way. I may get it right when I interpret the tone (the author's attitude towards the subject) of wistful regret when looking back at past choices. I will probably keep learning as I return to the poem over time. Here's the gist of my understanding:

Each of us has a fork in the road, where a choice was made. One direction was taken over another. The "road not taken" was left behind. Like Frost, I have "kept the first [road] for another day!" Whether it is a relationship, a school, a friendship, or place where I lived, I believe that I can return, even as I walk down another path.

Frost's voice soothes us as he closes the poem, stating he "took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference." The cadence of his voice, the pauses and inflections give the poem greater impact and meaning. Do you find this to be true?

So, I wonder what is your "road less traveled by"? Will you take the unusual route, or follow the crowd? I like Frost's advice to find and follow my own road. Tweet out your travel plan or view looking back at a choice using the hashtag #roadnottaken .

13 comments:

  1. I like your analysis. I have had to read this poem for multiple classes. I like your end with the twitter hashtag. I love taking my own road. I love getting in my car and driving to new locations.

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    1. Thanks, Kelly. I just tweeted out this post. See if you can share a #roadnottaken

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  2. Great poem, great post. This type of activity would work great with high school English students. I will fire up my Twitter and tweet out at #roadnottaken

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    1. Hi Brian! I will look for your #roadnottaken

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  3. Frost's reading is incredible. And this is a great discussion starter. I thought of my decision to leave the military. This would have been my 20th year. Even young kids have the ability to think through decision points. This is a good way to get at that.

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    1. Thanks for sharing. I also like this recording. I have taught this poem to Freshmen. It seems like such a great poem for a young person, as well as one to return to time and time again!
      Judy

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  4. I will share here and then try to tweet there... not going to Spain for my junior year of college was a large #roadnottaken because I am not fluent in Spanish like I would have been if I had studied there for a year. I was too afraid to leave my comfort zone at that time. Great post! Great way to involve technology with the standards.

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    1. Hi Cambria,
      Thanks for sharing this. I went to France for a year in college, so I know how precarious that decision can be. Thanks for sharing.
      Judy

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    2. I wonder if you ever received my tweet to your hashtag?

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    3. I wonder if you ever received my tweet to your hashtag for the road not taken?

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    4. Hi Cambria,

      I looked for your tweet with the #roadnottaken hashtag, but could not find it:(

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    5. I followed the directions you left... I guess I need more practice with twitter! :) It was a great idea, though!

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  5. We all have that moment, when life could have taken us on a completely different path. Who knows? It was really interesting to hear his voice read the lines. I had to listen more than once to really catch everything. It would be great to compare an actor's reading to the author's reading and have a discussion on what was more effective and why.

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