From the Wall Street Journal, October 15-16, 2016
Not the least of Robert Frost’s accomplishments is that he managed to balance popularity with artistic excellence. Take “The Road Not Taken” (1916), arguably his most famous poem. You probably read it in high school. You will find it in any good poetry anthology. In its wizardry, the poem deserves the highest accolades. The irony is that it has often been loved and quoted for the wrong reasons. The further irony is that this misunderstanding itself testifies to the subtlety and genius of its creator. The critic David Orr has written an entire book—“The Road Not Taken: Finding America in the Poem Everyone Loves and Almost Everyone Gets Wrong” (2015), newly in paperback—on this misunderstanding and the nuances of Frost’s design.
Here is the poem: