Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why the Tears?

Why does this poem always make me cry?

You know the one:

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

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

Then took the other, as 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,

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.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Last week my oldest three kids started memorizing poetry. I decided that I would join them, and I chose this one, an old fave. On the first day of school I read all the poems out loud and I couldn't get through mine without crying. I tried a few times and it actually became funny. At dinner, with Kevin joining the audience I tried again and I cried again! The line "knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back" is the tear-jerker, along with "I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."

I know that we can't do everything in this life - we can't choose more than one path. This bugs me, and I guess that explains the tears. I've often said I'd like to try everything at least once, but I don't have the time, true desire, or aptitude for all the paths that sound fun to me. I'm a dreamer, but I'm also finite. I guess that explains the sigh in the last stanza. And also my own tears.


1 comment:

Blah Blah Blayla said...

moving.
love the poem. love the image.