Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And, finding myself no Robert Frost,
I struck a third; I felt I should,
The pathless forest looked so good,
And soon I was well and truly… lost
I paused a moment to look around
And take some time to catch my breath…
I heard not one familiar sound,
And thought that I might not be found
Until I’d met my certain death
So… North and South and East and West
I no direction left un-tried.
With no one better than the rest,
Til cold night came, and, poorly dressed,
I caught a chill and promptly died.
If you look for me now, you’ll find me dead
Just one more hiker that didn’t make it…
Cos I didn’t like where Two Roads led–
Remember what Yogi Berra said:
If you come to a fork in the road… take it.
On NPR today, the Diane Rehm show noted that this month is the 100th anniversary of Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”. It was a good listen, noting some interesting misinterpretations and interpretations of the poem. All I will say is, this is not the first parody of it I have written, though it might be the only one still available on the intertubes.
I have a copy of a Robert Frost book on my shelf, that once belonged to one of my profs, who himself had found it among many discarded books in a Harvard hallway. My prof used “The Road Not Taken” as his metaphor for evolution; a decision, trivial at the time, might actually make a world of difference “ages and ages hence”. The NPR crew sees a conflict between our culture’s fiction of “your choices ‘make all the difference'” and Frost’s “both that morning equally lay” (noting only in future hindsight “with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence” that a particular choice made “all the difference”).
Is it that every choice matters? Is it that choices do not matter except in hindsight? Do we choose freely, or do we justify our determined “choices”? I have my own suspicions, of course, but the cool thing is that Robert Frost wrestled with these issues a hundred years ago, in verse. No, in really incredibly fucking marvelous verse that works on multiple levels.
Tangentially Related: Rending Wall (Frost is a powerful muse, it would appear)