April 19, 20
Explication of Two lines of Poetry from “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
In the poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, what people are likely to face when they stand on the edge of a choice because life is full of choices, the choices we make determine the course of our lives. The choices we make have an impact on our future. If we make the wrong choices, we will regret it, but we can’t go back. So we have to choose wisely. The two lines towards the beginning of the poem: “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood” & “And sorry I could not travel both.” It seems to me that these two lines are the core of the poem and have a unique meaning. These two lines, especially representing the poem terms of symbolize, consonance, imagery, denotation, and connotation. While many people understand this poem to mean that people’s decisions matter, I think it actually about life is full of choices (whether it is the big choices or the small choices) and all the choices are different.
In the first line, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.” The poet uses one detail in the first line of this poem — “yellow wood.” And made it the symbol of the entire forest (symbolize). The use of a feature to define wood suggests one of the basic idea/theme of the poem: there is a decision to be made and a life will be changed. Consonance is found in the d’s of “roads” “diverged” and “wood.” Using imagery, imagery is used to make the reader feel things through the five senses.The poet uses the sense of sight such as yellow wood, that helps the reader actually perceive what they are reading. The yellow wood suggests that the poem is set in fall. In the fall, the leaves of all the plants turn bright yellow. Acknowledging this “road” can reveal both denotation and connotation for the lines I selected. The denotation of this word is a wide way leading from one place to another; especially one with a specially prepared surface which vehicles can use. The connotation of this word symbolize the journey of life, a road forking off into two paths symbolize a choice. And the word “yellow wood” also can reveal both denotation and connotation. The denotation of this word is any of a number of trees which have yellowish timber or yield a yellow dye. The connotation means the yellow wood also evokes a fleeting sensation; One season will soon give way to another. This means that one choice/decision you make today will soon be replaced by your next choice/decision.
The next line, “And sorry I could not travel both.” The speaker only can choose one way at a time, telling himself that he will take the other another day. “Travel” can reveal both denotation and connotation for the lines I selected. The denotation of “travel” means to make a journey, typically of some length or aboard. The connotation is which road to take? The speaker wants to take both, but the speaker only can choose one because this is physically impossible. And the word “both” also can reveal both denotation and connotation. The denotation of “both” means used to refer to two people or things, regarded and identified together. The connotation is the choices/decisions. Before taking the path, the speaker always wanted to know how it was. Was it suitable for him/her or not. It always happens in our life when we have choices.
When two lines combine, it tells the reader the theme in this poem is life is full of choices, when faced with a choice, you can only make one choice, you cannot choose both. Each choice is not the same, the choice may bring you some positive or may bring you some negative. Once you make a choice you have to take the consequences.
(word count 667)