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testtoast99's avatar

What is a poem with the same theme and purpose as "The Road Not Taken"?

Asked by testtoast99 (80points) June 27th, 2010

I am doing some writing and do not want to cite the now cliche “The Road Not Taken” but would nonetheless appreciate some poetry in the piece. Do any of you know any solid verse that feels similar? Thank you very much.

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5 Answers

janbb's avatar

There is this one; a somehwat older chestnut that you may like. I’ll keep thinking and see what else I can come up with.

janbb's avatar

Distressingly, the Frank Sinatra song “It Did it My Way” keeps intruding on my thoughts.

janbb's avatar

Try Poem in October by Duylan Thomas. It is a lovely lyrical poem and one of my favorites. Not exactly the same theme, but a similar ruminative feel and with nature imagery. Hope this helps!

anartist's avatar

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.
from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Jeruba's avatar

@testtoast99, welcome to Fluther. It would help if you would specify the point you are trying to underscore. In “The Road Not Taken,” it could be the notion of taking a different path, or it could be the idea that the choice of path makes all the difference.

Alas, the Moving Finger is nearly as much of a cliche as the Road Not Taken. (It’s not really a cliche—just a victim of overexposure.) What it stresses, though, is the fact that you can’t go back and erase anything once you’ve taken your step. You can’t change history.

If you could boil your focal theme down to a single word or phrase—say, “choice” or “nonconformity” or “decisions”—you could search on it in poetry sites and collections of quotations until you find one that delivers just what you want.

Edna St. Vincent Millay’s candle, for instance, expresses the notion of tradeoffs in your life choices. “Invictus,” cited above, is a good I-did-it-my-way verse, if a little overwrought. Then there’s the “Life is real! Life is earnest!” Longfellow number with the famous “footrints in the sands of time” line. There are in fact many poems that somehow depict choices that run counter to the mainstream, perhaps because that’s the story of so many poets’ lives. So it would be best if we knew exactly what you’re getting at.

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