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The Road Not Taken | Class IX | English | CBSE

Updated: Oct 3, 2023



NCERT Official Video by Prof R. Meganathan


NCERT Questions with Answers

THINKING ABOUT THE POEM


1. Where does the traveller find himself? What problem does he face?


Ans : The traveller finds himself at a point from where two roads branched out into the forest.

He faced the problem regarding which road between the two he should pursue. These two roads appeared to be almost the same. Hence there is a confusion.


2. Discuss what these phrases mean to you.


(i) a yellow wood

The phrase ' a yellow wood' refers to a forest with decomposing leaves at the time of the autumn season.

(ii) it was grassy and wanted wear

The phrase means the second road was full of grass and wanted the travellers to walk over it.

(iii) the passing there

The poet means to say that if the travellers keep going through this second road, it will also appear to be the same as the first one in due course of time.

(iv) In leaves no step had trodden black

The poet means to say that both the roads on that morning appeared identical as both were covered with leaves and no footsteps had trodden over them.

(v) how way leads on to way

He knew quite well that one road leads to another and therefore, he had doubt in his mind whether he could travel through first road any day in future.


3. Is there any difference between the two roads as the poet describes them

(i) in stanzas two and three?

There is no difference between the two roads except for the fact that the second road is more grassy, which too will not last long as travellers start walking over it in future.


(ii) in the last two lines of the poem?

The poet means to say that only difference between the two roads is that the road that he chose to travel was less travelled .


4. What do you think the last two lines of the poem mean?

(Looking back, does the poet regret his choice or accept it?)


Ans: The poet says that whatever he is today is because of the earlier decisions in the past. His decision to travel through the second road had made all difference in his life.

He does not seem to regret over his decision as he turned out to be a successful poet.


II Thinking About the Poem


1. Have you ever had to make a difficult choice (or do you think you will have difficult choices to make)? How will you make the choice (for what reasons)?


Ans: It's a subjective answer. Kindly write your own view points.


2. After you have made a choice do you always think about what might have been, or do you accept the reality?


Ans. It's a subjective answer. Kindly write your own view points.

Hints:

  • We should always be judicious before taking any decision in life. Even for a small decision, we need to think and rethink and then decide. We should not be impulsive in taking decision.

  • Most of the decisions in life can not be re-winded. Therefore, be alert, judicious and then take any decision.


Biography of Robert Frost


  • Four-times Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry and recipient of more than 40 honorary degrees from many colleges and universities.

  • In his poems he depicted life as he saw around him and in a language that was simple and familiar to the common man.

  • Robert Frost gained popularity in America after he returned from England where he had found publishers for his works.

  • His first book of poems ‘ A Boy’s Will’ was published within a few months of moving to Englnad followed by North of Boston a year later.


THEME:

  • The Road in the poem is a metaphor for life. Our life is also like a road in which we travel for many years.

  • Fork in the road is a career choice for each one of us. We should be careful at every fork of our life.

  • Whatever we shall be tomorrow is due to our decisions today.

  • We should be judicious and careful before taking our decisions.

  • Once a decision is taken, we cannot undo it, and it has a deep impact in our life.

  • The Road not Taken is a poem which is relevant in our life.

  • The road not taken is the road which the poet did not take as he thought that he would take it some other day.

  • Metaphorically speaking, once we take our decisions in life, it is final and we cannot undo it.

  • Therefore, every important decision that we take in our life should be taken with careful thought and precision.

Stanza-Wise Explanation


Stanza 1

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveller, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Vocabulary:

diverged: separated and took a different direction

yellow wood: a forest with decomposing leaves

undergrowth: dense growth of plants and bushes means the forest


Key Points


The poet came across two divergent roads while going through a yellow wood.

The poet regrets as he cannot travel both the roads at the same time.

But before he took one road, he had examined both the roads very carefully.

He could see that the first road bent in the bushy forest after some distance.


Stanza 2

Then took the other, just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same.

Vocabulary:

fair : As good as the other one

Better Claim: better option.

wanted wear: second road had not been used so far.

worn them really about the same: the condition of the second road will also be the same as the first road when people will start walking over it.


Key Points

The poet then started looking at the second road and examined it carefully like the first road.

The second road is perhaps a better option as it looks grassy and wanted people to walk over it as very few people have so far travelled through it.

The poet says that when many people will walk though the second road in future, it will become exactly the same trodden road like the first road.

Trodden means the road which is already walked over and over again.


Stanza 3

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

Vocabulary:


equally lay: both the roads in the morning looked similar as they were covered with leaves.

trodden black : no human footsteps had made any of the roads dirty that morning.


Key Points

Both the roads looked almost identical as both of them were covered with leaves and no human beings had travelled through both the roads on that morning.

The poet said that he would take the first road some other day.

He knew quite well that one road leads to another and therefore, he had doubt in his mind whether he could travel through first road any day in future.

He could never come back to the fork and take the first road once again.


Stanza 4

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 travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Vocabulary:

sigh: deep breath

hence: here, in the future


Key Points

The poet says that with a heavy heart he would be telling people in future that there was a fork in a wood from where two roads branched out into two directions.

He had travelled the road which was less explored by people.

The poet further says that whatever he is today is because of the earlier decisions in the past.

His decision to travel through the second road had made all difference in his life.


Recapitulation

While travelling in a forest, the poet comes across a fork from where two roads branched off.

The post took the second road as it was grassy and wanted people to walk over it.

The poet feels regretful as he is not able to take the first road. He kept the first road for some other day. But he knew that one road leads to another and therefore, he cannot travel the first road any day in future.

The poet says that many year later he would tell people with a heavy heart that in a forest there were two roads, but he could not travel both as it is impossible to travel both the roads at the same time.

But the poet is optimistic that whatever road he had taken in the past had made all the difference in his life.


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