Discuss what these phrases mean to you. A) a yellow wood B) it was grassy and wanted wear C) the passing there D) leaves no step had trodden black E) how way leads on to way
Hint: The phrases given in the question are taken from the poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost. It is a very well-known poem about the choices that we make in our lives. The name of the poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’ refers to the paths that we do not take in our lives.
Complete answer: In this poem, the poet has reached a point where two roads are diverging. He is in a dilemma and compares both the roads to each other in order to come to a conclusion as to which road he should take. The following phrases have been used in the poem to describe or compare the roads and also discuss the thoughts of the poet. A) A yellow wood – This phrase suggests that the author might be in the autumn of his life, as yellow wood symbolizes an autumn scene. The colour yellow is also significant as it symbolizes light, joy, warmth, intellect and knowledge. B) It was grassy and wanted wear – This phrase in the poem refers to the road which the poet takes. The poet takes this path because it is grassier and greener than the other path. This path felt more alluring to the poet. C) The passing there – This phrase refers to the people passing through the grassy road. The poet felt that around the same number of people had trodden on this path, as on the one that was going the other way. He couldn’t say that the road was less travelled. D) leaves no step had trodden black – This phrase refers to the leaves which had fallen on the road and had been trampled black by the people who had taken that path. It is the road that the speaker does not take. This is what the whole poem is about. The poet chooses a path but keeps thinking about ‘The Road Not Taken.’ E) How way leads on to way – This phrase represents the fact that the road that the poet has taken will eventually come to an end, like any other road, and the end of the road will also lead us into a new unfamiliar path.
Note: Robert Lee Frost is an American poet and is the only poet to have received four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. Before publishing his work in America, they were published in Great Britain. He wrote his first poem in 1913, A Boy’s Will. His most famous poems are ‘The Road Not Taken’, ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’, ‘Fire and Ice’, ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’, etc.