Study Material of The Road Not Taken (Summary, Explanation and Word Meanings)

Summary of the Poem

Study Material and Summary of The Road Not taken NCERT Class 9th

The poet while travelling on foot in the woods reaches a junction where two roads diverge and he has to choose one among them He stands there for long. Then he decides to choose the road, which was grassy and needed ‘to wear’. He feels this choice will make all the difference to his future life. He decides to try the other road, some other time, knowing fully well that he will not get a chance to go back to it. Later he wishes that he had taken the other road. This is the irony of life, we cannot travel on all the available roads, no matter howsoever we may wish to.
The poet feels that after ages from now he would be looking at this decision with a ‘sigh’. He would tell that since he had taken the road less travelled, it made all the difference.
Thus the poet speaks of the basic problems of making the right choice. Many alternatives are available at the time of choice but man has to select one. It is only the future that will reveal, whether the decision is wrong or not. After taking decisions we cannot undo them, we can only regret them. Even if we wish, we cannot start all over again.

Stanzas Explanation

• Stanza 1: On the road of life, the speaker arrives at a point where he must decide which of two equally appealing choices is the better one. He examines one choice as best he can, but the future prevents him from seeing where it leads.

• Stanza 2: The speaker selects the road that appears at first glance to be less worn and therefore less traveled. This selection suggests that he has an independent spirit and does not wish to follow the crowd. After a moment, he concludes that both roads are about equally worn.

• Stanza 3: Leaves cover both roads equally. No one on this morning has yet taken either road, for the leaves lie undisturbed. The speaker remains committed to his decision to take the road he had previously selected, saying that he will save the other road for another day. He observes, however, that he probably will never pass this way again and thus will never have an opportunity to take the other road.

• Stanza 4: In years to come, the speaker says, he will be telling others about the choice he made. While doing so, he will sigh either with relief that he made the right choice or with regret that he made the wrong choice. Whether right or wrong, the choice will have had a significant impact on his life.

Terms and Meanings from the Poem

• Diverged – separated
• Undergrowth - a dense growth of shrubs and other plants
• Lay – put

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