Although he was honored with the Pulitzer Prize on four occasions and the Congressional gold medal for poetry, his initial foray into the literary field was rebuffed in America. He was however well received in England where he was encouraged and influenced by none other than Ezra Pound and Edward Thomas who befriended him. When he returned to America as the World War broke out, he had become a well known personality and found publishers eager to publish his works. He was honored by President Kennedy who asked him to write and recite a poem for his inauguration. His life at New Hampshire produced some of his best works and the influence of the rural setting is revealed in much of his poetry.
The poem The Road Not Taken is considered a nostalgic commentary on the choices made in life and looked back on later with the perpetual question of what life would have been if one had chosen differently. It is the first person narrative of the supreme moment when an important decision in life is made. The theme of the poem is the age old dilemma of a choice between two alternatives. The narrator of the poem, ostensibly the poet himself is pondering the path he should take. The paths look alike and he tries to look ahead to see if his choice can be made easier by something he spots down one of the paths, but his vision is blocked by a bend in the path and he has to make a choice that would lead him so far away from the other that he would never again be at the crossroads to see where the other road led. While choosing the road, the poet ponders on the many differences between them. They seem to him fundamentally alike in that both are well travelled and the traveler has already made up his mind on which road he will take. As is human nature, he sees that road as the better one, “And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear;” yet looking back ...Show more