Summary and Revision Notes of The Road not Taken Beehive Class 9

This is one of the finest poems by Robert Prost. It's a poem with deep implications. It deals with the problem of making a right choice. Many times in our life we are faced with choices and often such a choice is difficult to make.

The speaker stands in the woods, considering a fork in the road. Both ways are equally worn and equally overlaid with un-trodden leaves. The speaker chooses one, telling himself that he will take the other another day. Yet he knows it is unlikely that he will have the opportunity to do so. And he admits that someday in the future he will recreate the scene with a slight twist: He will claim that he took the less-travelled road. "The Road Not Taken" consists of four stanzas of five lines. The rhyme scheme is abaab.

The poem presents a dilemma that every man faces in his life. One day, going his way the poet comes to a fork in the road and needs to decide which way to go to continue his journey. 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.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Here, poet was standing on a path from which two paths diverges. Obviously, he could not travel both.  He was in dilemma, which path would lead him to his destiny. He looked toward both road, as far as his vision allowed him. He looked till where the both roads bend.

Then took the other, 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

The poet selected the road that appears at first glance to be less worn and therefore less traveled. This selection suggests that, poet had an independent spirit and did not wish to follow the crowd. After a moment, he concluded that both roads are about equally worn. That means both roads were equally travelled.

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.

Leaves had covered both roads equally. No one on this morning had yet taken either road, as the leaves lied undisturbed. The poet remained committed to his decision to take the road he had previously selected, saying that he will save the other road for another day. He observed however, probably he would never pass this way again and thus will never have an opportunity to take the other road.

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 travelled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

In years to come, the poet would be telling others about the choice he made. While doing so, he would 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. He would say proudly, once he was standing at a wood, at point, where two roads diverged, but he took the road that was less travelled. This choice of him had made all the difference in his life.

NCERT Solutions of The Road not Taken
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