Chance and choice in a yellow wood

"Arch, North Carolina'' (photo), by Boston area photographer Russell  duPont.

"Arch, North Carolina'' (photo), by Boston area photographer Russell  duPont.

"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 wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.''

--The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

Contrary to what many people think, this very famous poem doesn't mean that the "I'' took the road that worked out best, the one that took the narrator to a good place. Rather it's about chance and choice, about one damn thing coming after another. Frost called it a "tricky'' poem.