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Decisions in Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken

Decisions in Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken

Throughout our lives we are faced with a number of important decisions, decisions that determine an unseen future. The choices, though often virtually identical, lead to different destinies and often leave us asking “what if?” There are not always signs telling us the way to go or the choice to make; we must find out what lies ahead for ourselves. In his “The Road Not Taken,” Robert Frost relates to the reader such a choice, symbolic, perhaps of any major decision in life. The traveler in Frost’s poem must blindly decide between two similar paths, and this decision greatly affects his life thereafter.

In the opening stanza, Frost takes the reader into a “yellow wood,” setting the scene. Both this location and time of year are important in the description of the traveler’s decision. The idea of being in a forest brings to mind towering trees and plants blocking everything but the path traveled. This image is a way of showing that even though we all are different, everyone must follow certain guidelines. The traveler then “looked down one [path] as …

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…and it has changed his life. As travelers on paths of life, we come to a number of forks each day, and the directions we choose there shape our unique lives.

Sources Cited and Consulted

Mike Bellah. “The Road Not Taken.” Best Years. Online. World Wide Web. 29 Jul 2004.

Finger, L. L. “Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’: a 1925 Letter come to Light.” American Literature 50. Online. World Wide Web. 20 Jul. 2004.

Frost, Robert. “The Road Not Taken.” The Poetry of Robert Frost. Ed. Edward Connery, Lathem. New York: Hot, Rinehart and Winston, 1969.

Analysis of Fable by Nina Cassian

Analysis of Fable by Nina Cassian

Whereas the extent of my poetic appreciation lies in a decided distaste for Dante and a zest for limericks concerning Nantucket – it behooves me to discuss a poem that my limited capacities can grasp. Fable by Nina Cassian is just such a poem. I view this piece as Ms. Cassian’s perspective on life (a “sentence” or an obligation), death, and sadly, the fact that most people do not appreciate the beautific nature of existence.

I understand the first stanza as a depiction of man’s earthly plane as a sort of testing ground for “angels” – a place where beings are concerned with the development of spirit, “to master imbalance.”

The second and third stanzas I interpret as the transformation of the ethereal spirit to a corporeal state. The “angel plummeted” and thus left spiritual beauty in a quest for purity.

The angel,s descent is clearly painful: “…feathers carbonized, his sole wing impotent, dangling.” Though the cost of corporeal existence is dear, I believe Ms. Cassian sees this as an obligation which must be met, a “sentence.”

The final sentence is the saddest. The nature of this newly formed being is mundanely categorized. The “people” fail to see its purpose and its intrinsic beauty; by extension, they have lost their own missions, their own true value. They have forgotten God.

The second poem was written by an astonishingly brillant N.Y.U. student hoping to receive an “A” in an introductory literature course taught by a fascinating (and underpaid) professsor.

12/2/97 is the date that this author spent approximately six minutes dead.

He had minored in theology and had developed a healthy scepticism concerning all religions. The author had laughed at so called “near-death experiences -” believing them either fantasy or resultant of a chemical secretion of the frontal lobe in times of catastrophic distress.

This erstwhile pillager of the business world, this glorified “strett hustler” discovered upon his demise that as the “people” of Fable he had lost his way, his appreciation, his God.

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