Poetry and Yellow Wood
Where does the traveler find himself? What problem does he face? 2. Discuss what these phrases mean to you. (i) A yellow wood (ii) It was grassy and wanted wear (iii) The passing there (iv) Leaves no step had trodden black (v) How way leads on to way 3. Is there any difference between the two roads as the poet describes them (i) in stanzas two and three? (ii) in the last two lines of the poem? 4. What do you think the last two lines of the poem mean? (Looking back, does the poet regret his choice or accept it? ) AnswerDiscussionShare1. The traveller found himself at a place from which two roads diverged into a yellow wood.
The problem he faced was that he had to choose between the two roads. He could not travel both. Hence, the making of the decision of which road to take was the dilemma in his mind. 2. (i) It could mean either a forest with trees having yellow leaves or may be a forest with sandalwood trees. (ii) The road that he decided to take was grassy and it was less worn out as compared to the other. This implies that the road was not too much in use as the grass was still afresh and it seemed that not many people had walked on it. (iii) This refers to the people passing through that road. iv) This refers to the fact that the road was lined with leaves, which were fresh and no step had trodden them black. This means that nobody has walked on that road as there were no marks of foot on the leaves and they were as fresh as ever. (v) Here, the poet refers to the fact that one road always leads to other roads. It depends on the path you choose as it eventually leads to another path and so on. 3. (i) In stanzas two and three, the poet expresses the similarities between the two roads. He says that both were equally fair. The road that he took was grassy and seemed as if it wanted some wear as it had not been used enough.
However, he again says that the people who had taken the two roads had worn them both about the same. That particular morning when he had to make the choice between the two roads, he saw both of them as they lay equally in leaves that no step had crushed or worn out to make them black. Hence, the poet has shown the two roads as quite similar to each other. (ii) In the last two lines of the poem, the poet has expressed his thought that he had taken the road that was less travelled by. This is when he had walked down that road. Hence, in the last two lines, he is aware of what the road he took brought him to.
While earlier he found the two roads quite similar to each other when he was in the dilemma of making the decision of which road to take, in the end he realised that the road he had finally chosen was less travelled by, which eventually made all the difference. 4. In the last stanza of the poem, the poet says that after many ages, he shall be narrating his experience with a sigh. Here, the ‘sigh’ could refer to a sigh of relief. It could mean that he was relieved as he had chosen the better road and therefore, seemed to have accepted his choice as it made a difference, which was for the better.
However, the ‘sigh’ could also mean the sigh of dismay. It could mean that he was disappointed to have taken the road that was less travelled by. He says that it made all the difference, which could be a negative thing that might have resulted in, as a result of taking that road. Even the title of the poem is ‘The road not taken’. This could imply that he later regretted to have not taken the other road; hence, the emphasis on the road not taken in the title. Hence, if apprehended this way, it is also possible that he finally regretted his decision.