What is the meaning of the final stanza in "The Road Not Taken"?

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In the final stanza, the speaker seems to regret the choice he made, to take the road "less traveled by." The roads are, of course, metaphorical, and they represent choices made or not made. The speaker recalls the choice he made "with a sigh," implying that in retrospect, it was the wrong choice. Ostensibly, this seems to mean that the speaker regrets going his own way rather than making the popular choice.

If we look back at the three previous stanzas, however, we can see that there were really no significant differences at all between the two roads. In the second stanza, the speaker acknowledges that one road was "just as fair" as the other, and that both roads had been worn "really about the same." With this in mind, the speaker's sigh in the final stanza is perhaps not because he chose the road that he later told himself was the "less traveled by," but simply because he made an arbitrary choice that didn't work out. He tells himself that he made an informed, even noble choice to take the "less traveled" road as a way of justifying his actions and making himself feel better about a random choice that didn't work out. A wrong decision is, after all, easier to accept if we can convince ourselves that it was at least a noble decision.

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In the final stanza, Frost reflects on the fact that when he came to a metaphorical crossroads in his life, he chose a path or decision that was, for whatever reason, uncommon, unique, or unaligned with what most people would do in a similar situation. The author uses the diverging roads as a literal representation of this dilemma. The woods surrounding the crossroads also represent the unknown, as the speaker cannot foresee what the results of each choice will be.

The reader can infer through the poem's last two lines that choosing the unfamiliar and less commonly chosen option had remarkable and life-changing results, as he says that this road "made all the difference." Because of the positive note on which the poem ends, Frost seems to be encouraging his audience to be bold enough to follow desires, trains of thought, and passions that the majority might shun.

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The last stanza of Robert Frost's famous poem reads as follows:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The "sigh" is represented by the dash after "and I" and the repetition of the word "I" at the beginning of the next line. We could interpret this poem as being about Robert Frost himself (although it is important to remember that poet and speaker are certainly not synonymous). It might be supposed that the poet is sighing because he is still wondering what would have happened to him if he had chosen that other road, "the road not taken." On the other hand, he may be sighing because he remembers the road he did take. The road not taken is only an imaginary road, but the road taken was a real road, and the poet can remember what a steep and precarious road it was. The real road was far more likely to cause that deep sigh than the illusory road.

Frost had to travel a long, grueling road before he finally achieved some recognition as a poet. When he was an old man, he was world-famous. He was invited to read one of his poems at the presidential inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961, a singular honor. But it was a cold, windy day in January, and the white-haired poet's eyes were watering so badly that he couldn't read what he had written.

In "The Road Not Taken," the poet is probably not sighing because he thinks he might have chosen the wrong road; he is probably sighing because he chose the right road but it turned out to be far longer and steeper than he could have imagined when he was an aspiring young poet.

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