The Tragedy of the Road Not Taken

Perhaps the most misinterpreted and misused poem in the history of the English language is Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” By cherry-picking the last three lines—

RoadNotTaken

—readers have assumed that the poem is an expression of self-assertion, a kind of can-do individualism where making decisive choices and sticking to them will allow us to live with “no regrets.”

That resolve makes for good bumper stickers, but poor poetry, and even worse accounts of vocation. Continue reading