The Road about to be Taken

Coming up to the last day for the senior students I teach and we’ve been preparing for the final farewell service, a part of which the various teachers who have been working with the students in their final year, read a poem or song line or something. In the last few years I’ve always read Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken but last year another teacher read that and I read Sometimes Gladness by Bruce Dawe, particularly appropriate because we’d been studying the poetry of Dawe during the year.

This year we haven’t, so the idea is that, in my farewell to the school too, I write a farewell poem myself, something I’ve often thought of but never been able to get the energy or commitment to complete. That’s my challenge in the next fortnight. I have no pretension at all to challenge the simple beauty of Frost’s work. For those who haven’t read it for a while here it is:

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5
 
Then took the other, as 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, 10
 
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15
 
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. 20

Robert Frost

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