Our lives are so often decided by moments, moments that are often forgotten but whose importance was life altering and tragic or majestic. It has been so with mine, and, as I suffer with malaria once again (better today) I am reminded of the all the choices that came my way and how the choices I made have made me who I am today—both the good and the bad. I studied Frost extensively during my Master’s in American Literature and his poetry has always been a part of my life. I am at this moment listening to a Swedish group “First Aid Kit” who have a song based on one of his poems “Nothing Gold Can Stay” and am reminded again of his impact on my life. Perhaps my favorite poem or at least the one that has made the most impact on my life is “The Road Not Taken” (Robert Frost 1920) which I reprint here. It is worth reading and taking some time to think about what it means to you. Enjoy.
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.