The Symbolism of ‘The Road Not Taken’

‘The Road Not Taken’ is one of Robert Frost’s most famous poems. Frost (1874-1963) was an American poet whose work was at odds with many of his modernist contemporaries, such as William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, and T. S. Eliot. He disliked free verse – memorably characterising it as ‘playing tennis with the net down’ – and his work is more direct, and often more Romantic, than much modernist writing.

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The Meaning and Origin of ‘Good Fences Make Good Neighbours’

In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle explores the meaning of a well-known expression

Here’s a question for you: who first wrote the line, ‘good fences make good neighbours’? Although it was the American poet Robert Frost (1874-1963) who first used that particular wording, the sentiment, expressed in slightly different (though only very slightly different) words, is considerably older. So where did ‘good fences make good neighbours’ originally come from, and what does it mean in the Robert Frost poem in which it appears?

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The True Meaning of ‘Two Roads Diverged in a Wood, and I Took the One Less Traveled by’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘Two roads diverged in a wood’; ‘I took the one less traveled by’. These two lines have become famous since they were written, and they are widely quoted. But their meaning is also widely misunderstood. What did Robert Frost mean when he wrote, ‘Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, / I took the one less traveled by’?

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