you arrive at a fork in the road, take it."
- Yogi Berra
Robert Frost on his own poetry:
"One stanza of 'The
Road Not Taken' was written while I was sitting on a sofa in the middle
of England: Was found three or four years later, and I couldn't bear
not to finish it. I wasn't thinking about myself there, but about a
friend who had gone off to war, a person who, whichever road he went,
would be sorry he didn't go the other. He was hard on himself that way."
Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, 23 Aug. 1953
ABOUT THIS POEM:
The literal meaning of this poem by Robert Frost is pretty obvious.
A traveler comes to a fork in the road and needs to decide which way
to go to continue his journey. After much mental debate, the traveler
picks the road "less traveled by."
The figurative meaning is not too hidden either. The poem describes
the tuogh choices people stand for when traveling the road of life.
The words "sorry" and "sigh" make the tone of poem somewhat gloomy.
The traveler regrets leaves the possibilities of the road not chosen
behind. He realizes he probably won't pass this way again.
There are plenty literary devices in this poem to be discovered. One
of these is antithesis. When the traveler comes to the fork in the road,
he wishes he could travel both. Within the current theories of our physical
world, this is a non possibility (unless he has a split personality).
The traveler realizes this and immediately rejects the idea.
Yet another little contradiction are two remarks in the second stanza
about the road less traveled. First it's described as grassy and wanting
wear, after which he turns to say the roads are actually worn about
the same (perhaps the road less traveled makes travelers turn back?).
All sensible people know that roads don't think, and therefore don't
want. They can't. But the description of the road wanting wear is an
example of personification in this poem. A road actually wanting some
as a person would. However: some believe this to be incorrect and believe
"wanting wear" is not a personification, but rather older English meaning "lacking". So
it would be "Because it was grassy and lacked wear;".
ABOUT THE PAINTING:
Paul Cezanne is today considered a forerunner of modern painting, even
though in his lifetime he exhibited little and his contemporaries were
impressionists. Cezanne was born in the south of France in 1839, and
studied law in his early years. However, he continued attending drawing
classes. Cezanne's father was not particularly pleased when one day
he mentioned he wanted to paint for a living. Good thing his father
didn't really blow his top, since the inheritance Cezanne received allowed
him to live comfortably and paint.
The painting "Road at Chantilly" stems from 1888, which is during Cezanne's
"constructive" phase. This phase of his professional painting career
is marked by the parallel hatched brushstrokes in certain formations
that build up mass. In this painting you can see the masses of color
(light and dark) overlapping to create a sense of trees.
Even the house and the end of the road is not painted as such: look
close and you'll see a few painted windows with some lines as a roof.
This create the mass of a house at the end of the road in Chantilly.
Robert Frost Website
A Frost-fan who's decided to build a shrine to his/her hero.
Academy of American Poets: Robert Frost
Entry about Auden, his life and his works and a few links
Some biographical info but, also a large selection of complete poems by the author.
"A Web Site introducing Robert Frost to a new generation" and even features audio samples of readings.
Traveler: The Nature of New England
Site about New England poets. However, you won't find the standard biography, but inside info on Frost's hometown,
home, burial place, and much more.
Webmuseum entry of Paul Cézanne with biographical info and some images of his famous work. Also some background info on his painting style.
Artchive: Paul Cézanne
Entry about Cézanne, with nice biographical information with links to images of his paintings.
Cézanne on the Internet
Artcyclopedia entry on Cézanne with an extensive list of links on where to find him on the net.
Nice summary of biographical information on Cézanne taken from the Grolier Encyclopedia.
Site about the upcoming film "Road Trip."
Road not Taken
Apparently there's an annual rally race adventure in Oregon. This site has the info.
are never easy
English paper about "The Road not Taken" (students looking for info: don't get any ideas now ;-)
Logging Road Not Taken
TIME Mag's web-only essay about logging and conservationism in America.