A new book by David Orr discusses how we've forever been misunderstanding the meaning of one of America's most favorite poems. Orr's new book "The Road not Taken" says Frost's poem references regrets, not pride. It's been years since I've read the entire poem and I can see how Orr interprets Frost's poem as regret rather than bravado.
Orr writes: The poem isn’t a salute to can-do individualism. It’s a commentary on the self-deception we practice when constructing the story of our own lives.
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;
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,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
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.
- Robert Frost (but you knew that)