July 05, 2010

Robert Frost (Writer's Island Prompt)

One of my favorite poems has always been "The Road Less Traveled" by Robert Frost.
If you are not familiar with this piece, I hope you will find it and enjoy it as much as I always have.

"The Road Less Traveled" spoke to me.
How I ached to choose the life
of carefree girls in cut-off jeans
hiking through exotic lands.
Or long-haired co-eds in argyle sweaters
roaming Ivy League halls.
I was offered a different road
by an inherited progeria of the spirit.
Barely escaping a train wreck by running
headlong into a burning building.
Spending years fighting that fire,
protecting all others,
my bare hands beating back flames.

Incarcerated by responsibilities,
no chance to run, no place to hide.
Trying not to be what I was taught, but
what is right - what is right
my mantra.
Reading that same poem over and over;
still not finding an answer, an escape.
then over time a subtle loosening,
a dawning realization.
A consciousness of deeper truth.
Frost's words had changed, made sense to me.
My unexceptional life, my life of rules
had turned me slowly into rarity.


  1. "Incarcerated by responsibilities..." poignant words, these.

  2. Hello Cynthia,

    Frost's poem is wonderful. But when we choose the fork in the road, is it a free choice or has it already been chosen for us? We each have a path to follow.

  3. Love the turn this takes, especially the last two lines.

  4. I wish you could see me. I'm standing up and applauding. This resonates so deeply in so many ways. Have you ever read Lucille Clifton's "Come, Celebrate..."? If you haven't, I hope you do. I celebrate your rarity.


  5. Wonderful poem, Cynthia - and it echoes my life, too. Left school at 16, family, crummy jobs for years while incarcerated with responsibilities. Learned clarinet and squash at 48, started quilting at 58, studying at 65, writing poems at 70. Everything comes to she who waits.

  6. Cyn, you have put on paper that which most humans experience. I believe that most of us are never really allowed to travel our heart's desire. Circumstance makes the choice for us. I enjoyed your poem as I do Frost. Thanks for the comment on my effort. I apologize for any sensitive nerves I exposed. It is an imagined poem, no personal truths there.

  7. Cynthia and others . . you can find Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken"
    HERE and your take on Frost's dilemma and its resolution is thought-provoking and resonant.