It is, of course much deeper in meaning than that straightforward description. By the use of color, he paints an autumnal scene, suggesting he is looking back at himself later in his life. For example, "...yellow wood" (l. 1) for the leaves are not green, and again in "In leaves no step had trodden black" (l. 12), give the impressions of mulchy, earthy scents of autumn. The poet's own voice is heard throughout, sharing thought, feeling and action. There is gentle irony in "Oh, I kept the first for another day!" (l.13) and again in:
His descriptive narrative, reasoning processes, and finally, a suggestion of regret, created by using the word 'sigh', combine to inform us that this is not a person at a rural crossroads, looking for a shortcut to town. The underlying meaning is how we all have choices to make, how it is necessary for us to rationalize them to ourselves, and how, with hindsight, we might wish we had chosen otherwise. The poem speaks of the consequences of our action, and that finally, we have to live with these, you cannot go back. It calls up visual and sensual images with the language used. It also suggests that it is brave to take the road less traveled, to be different and to seek adventure and change.
Dream Variations (1926) and Harlem (1942): Lan ...