The Road Less Traveled By

  • Published on Sep 1, 2015
  • In which Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken" sends John down the wrong edge of the river, which then leads to a consideration of the poem, Frost's inspiration Edward Thomas, making choices, and how/whether literature can actually matter.

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Comments • 948

  • Richard Wyant
    Richard Wyant 7 days ago

    But there was no less travelled...both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black

  • Bonnie Hundley
    Bonnie Hundley 12 days ago

    I want to see a literal fork in the road. How about a whole bunch of silverware? Just to confuse some people.

  • Sara Wehr
    Sara Wehr 12 days ago

    I LOVE Frost's poetry. Thanks for another take on one of his wonderful word creations.

  • Johnny Salter
    Johnny Salter 27 days ago

    I really appreciate this.

  • Scaly Khajiit
    Scaly Khajiit Month ago

    I believe the poem's message is not so much to mock indecision, but an invitation to leave the comfort zone. As you said, every day in life we make decisions, some are bigger ones than others. Too often are we nervous about leaving the bubble we know, venturing into the unknown. I see the poem as exploring the infinite possibilities that the road less travelled offer. At school I was very timid but forced myself to go towards people and ended up making amazing friends. Reminding ourselves of the power of our choices, that safety is not necessarily the best path.

  • Leopard-King
    Leopard-King Month ago

    This is my shit. So many people have this love affair with bucking the mainstream. They want to James Dean there way into relationships, business, religion, and politics. No one can tell them what to do! There is a legitimate time and place for that, but the time and place for people who do that as a lifestyle is prison upwards of ten years. That is a place for constant REAL rebellion. Most of what we chalk up to being an outsider is store bought antisocial behavior. Using naughty words, having completely legal controversial opinions, not caring about pressing challenges like climate change or homelessness. This is boutique radicalism. It changes nothing, but simply makes the sheltered blush. There is this idea that exists in visual art, comedy, philosophy, modern religion, and music that if it is subversive, you must be doing something right. I have no problem with nonconformity. In fact, it is impossible to walk with integrity and be unacquainted with this attribute, but I wish people would follow truth, beauty, humor, and wisdom wherever they actually were instead of trying to make them all products of fringe culture. You have a wife and kids, that is as vanilla as it gets, so then why am I jealous? That life path is replicable for a reason. IT'S FIRE SON! I know it's a grind full of challenges like anything else in life, but there are real gems in a healthy family unit. I don't want to promote hegemony too much, and I don't want to promote diversity too much. Follow the virtues is what I say. They will lead you into sunny places with lush grass, colorful flowers, and pleasant feelings. They will also lead you into dark cold alleys where unfeeling eyes will be upon you. To me the willingness to go against the grain is way more important that going against the grain three times a day every day.

  • Michele Curlee
    Michele Curlee 2 months ago

    We sure do love to live by little snippets of “wisdom “... or common sense (ironically, Good sense is not common, neither is wisdom). Yet, bit of wisdom often comes after taking a wrong turn! I no longer remember the book that had a chapter entitled, “Dare to be average “, but it’s little snippets of wisdom spoke to the realization that you can’t excel at everything and if you avoid the experiences that you would perform at an average level, well, you’ll miss out on most of life’s so-so, yet wonderful and comforting experiences. So, enjoy the everyday things, remember your way home....and every once in awhile be bold and deviate from the expect path.

  • Griffith Harland
    Griffith Harland 2 months ago

    Ever been to ZANZIBA?

  • shortvids
    shortvids 3 months ago

    I loved this video so much I had to come back and watch it again. Damn, I'm straight man sitting here wondering how John ever convinced me he was a nerd when he is so handsome. Anyway, some find words were spoken here that really made an impact on my life. #straightconservativenerdfighter

  • ErnestPiffel
    ErnestPiffel 3 months ago

    I’m going back the way I came

  • Kara Kask
    Kara Kask 8 months ago

    My high school was named after this poem (the misinterpretation).

  • Fuarian
    Fuarian 8 months ago

    Don't follow the road most travelled.
    Don't follow the road less travelled.
    Dont even follow the road.
    Make your own trail.

  • Shruti Ray
    Shruti Ray Year ago

    after watching this one video i realized the base of all the decisions of my life since 2015 has been shaken and probably the bravery i was thinking while choosing the future decisions for me is a mere absurd thing now. so my favourite writer just made my life a question mark

  • Matt White
    Matt White Year ago

    Neither path in the poem was less traveled. They were "worn about the same".

  • vijay verma
    vijay verma Year ago

    Thank you

  • The Slugging Dog
    The Slugging Dog Year ago

    It's "two roads diverged in a wood" not "two roads diverged in a yellow wood". C'mon John!

  • AlchemistOfNirnroot

    "and that has made all the difference" - doesn't state whether it's good or bad.

  • Carmen Mencar
    Carmen Mencar Year ago

    Not much information at all. But we can still move to different meanings in our lives, right? I'm late but please keep up these points that make me feel like I've had thoughts that could have been good if I put more thought in them.

  • redmeetingwhite
    redmeetingwhite Year ago

    I most definitely don't want to end up like Robert Frost, that dude had one sad life

  • Neha The Jedi
    Neha The Jedi Year ago

    We can't know better till knowing better is no good.

  • Jun Sian Lee
    Jun Sian Lee Year ago

    +vlogbrothers Please bring poems back to the beginning of Dear Hank and John (or you preferred to call it "Dear John and Hank"). I really enjoy the poems.

  • Ville Pakarinen
    Ville Pakarinen Year ago

    Why does this fucking person talk like this??!!

  • Amisha Toshniwal
    Amisha Toshniwal Year ago

    it took me 30 min to find which brother this is...

  • mike gossner
    mike gossner Year ago

    So basically the rough road is the better road to take if the road is only used once?

  • turdl38
    turdl38 Year ago

    please tell me you don't kayak alone!

  • Noelia Killjoy
    Noelia Killjoy Year ago +1

    lol I did not get the sarcasm in Robert's poem either but I kinda interepreted it as if he were saying "choose whichever road feels right to you personally and if that leads to the less travelled road, so be it" xD so, I think I interpreted it as being a piece of advice about making your decision yours and no-one else's. I believe that's what matters, making the decision that feels right to you.

  • Ahmed Adel
    Ahmed Adel Year ago +1

    Damn, so this is Pirates Island?

  • Kyle
    Kyle Year ago

    Robert Frost said he would retell his story with a sigh. That, and he never said the road less traveled was a good idea.
    I remember being told that the road less traveled is the better path, but then I got yelled at for doing so.

  • Erin Kiple
    Erin Kiple Year ago

    i'm doing this poem for poetry out loud this week!! wish me luckk!!

  • ljbrandt500
    ljbrandt500 Year ago

    your persona annoys me

  • Georgia Glenn
    Georgia Glenn 2 years ago +1

    It's cool to be able to come back and recognise your inspiration for Turtles. It's like this video now not only gives me a snippet into your thoughts, but reveals the cogs of Aza's identity.

  • Cap673
    Cap673 2 years ago

    The poem had a lot more than 3 lines you know. The meaning is much more obvious if you read it.
    "The Road Not Taken
    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."

  • El Fatidic
    El Fatidic 2 years ago

    Thanks man, I chose to speak about this poem from Robert Frost in a exam's oral and I needed a "reception document", in English litterature, your video is perfectly adapted. Thanks a lot.

  • Tristan Voros
    Tristan Voros 2 years ago

    i just made a short travel film about this poem. If anyone wants to check it out, it would make me so happy :)

  • sonia the science kid
    sonia the science kid 2 years ago

    Yeah, because life is about being safe and doing what's familiar out of fear. k

  • Nick
    Nick 2 years ago

    Ah now I remember why this guy makes ok videos

  • Jazzgent
    Jazzgent 2 years ago

    I am not the least bit interested in flippant and comedic analysis of this great poem!

  • billy goat
    billy goat 2 years ago

    who is hank?

  • Galvanized Gamer
    Galvanized Gamer 2 years ago

    Reading the poem, I agree that it is misinterpreted, but not in the way you are representing. It seems that the paths that Frost is alluding to are more or less the same. The second stanza says this
    "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,"
    It seems that these paths were pretty much the same. He needed to choose one, so he said to himself that one was less traveled. He tricked himself out of indecision. Later when he is looking back on the event, it seems he has done the job well, as he thinks to himself that the path he took made all the difference, when in reality, it probably didn't.
    This poem is about tricking oneself into thinking ones choices make a big difference in their life, when in reality they mostly do not.

  • Stefanie
    Stefanie 2 years ago

    I always thought that Frost kind of suggested that it didn't matter which road you take - both take you to some where that, arguably, is unknowable. Both roads are similar in description too. How do you know the one you took is less travelled by? Each path requires you to move forward and to blaze a trail. So, I don't think it ultimately matters which road you take as long as you take one.

  • Nestor's Dragon
    Nestor's Dragon 2 years ago

    We have many lions. MANY lions... I've seen things

  • Zachs Mind
    Zachs Mind 2 years ago +1

    It wasn't Frost's words that killed Thomas, but Thomas' interpretation of those words. Frost was saying in a light hearted manner how absurd it is to presume the less traveled road is somehow more valid or special. He was being sarcastic. Thomas interpreted it to mean he should take the path that frightened him more, as if it would build his character and make him a better person, but it made him very dead. Frost didn't put a gun to his head. If anything, he meant his words to be a welcoming beacon to The New World. So what if everybody's moving to America and comparatively less people want to get killed in a war?
    What we can't measure, and perhaps will never know, had Thomas opted not to participate in the war and moved to America instead, would some small action he committed that may not even be historically reported led to a different outcome of the war? Would we all be speaking a different language today, were it not for some small thing he did, just by being in the war zone instead of across the pond?
    Or did he take that bullet for nothing, and nothing he was ever meant to potentially do was going to have any impact on the universe as a whole in any significant way? We will probably never know the answer to that, cuz we can't go back to that time and see what would have happened to the world had Thomas taken that other path.
    So maybe Frost was wrong after all, and it does matter. Or maybe he's right and it doesn't. Who knows?

  • ijustflewaway
    ijustflewaway 2 years ago

    How exactly was joining the military "the road less travelled by" though?

  • BrythingRoom
    BrythingRoom 2 years ago

    "I want to be co-CEO of a company that raises children and mows lawns and stuff". My favorite line!

  • Shit To Fit
    Shit To Fit 2 years ago


  • David Bucknell
    David Bucknell 2 years ago

    The poem even clearly describes two identical, equally travelled paths, and twice the narrator describes lying to himself to help make a decision.
    The two lines just before the final three most quoted lines even explicitly say that the final three lines are a lie the narrator will tell himself to convince himself late in life he made the right decision.
    (The poem is actually titled "The Road Not Taken" not "The Road Less Travelled" - this indicates that the author/narrator is regretting their choice)

  • MiguelPpM
    MiguelPpM 2 years ago

    Lesson learned, there's a reason why we travel.

  • Mike
    Mike 2 years ago

    Wait, so John and his wife own a daycare disguised as a landscaping business? Aren't there laws against that? ;-p

  • Leonard Erasmus
    Leonard Erasmus 2 years ago

    why do people like to forget that the road in the poem IS NOT LESS TRAVELED (thats the point if you read THE WHOLE poem)

  • benedictify
    benedictify 2 years ago

    beer cross

  • Jazzgent
    Jazzgent 2 years ago

    My advice. The less clever you and others try to be when explaining this poem the better.

  • MrAwawe
    MrAwawe 2 years ago

    Do you ever glue that sword to your hand?

  • Lord Lima Bean
    Lord Lima Bean 2 years ago

    Nice beer cans.

    • MrAwawe
      MrAwawe 2 years ago

      Lord Lima Bean It's a super glue beer can sword.

  • Lawrence Anito
    Lawrence Anito 2 years ago

    vlog accidentally travelled

  • Jon Goldney
    Jon Goldney 2 years ago +1

    Robert Frost killed Edward Thomas. Or so you say. "Staying inside the poem" is generally a good idea when it comes to poetry analysis, although that's not to say one shouldn't make oneself aware of the background. The whys and wherefores of any famous work of art or literature are always bound to fascinate; however, one shouldn't get too caught up in all the intrigue and make more of it than Frost and Thomas might themselves have attested to, were they both still alive. There were other factors which could have influenced Thomas in his decision to serve his country -- an unhappy marriage, chronic mood swings and periods of deep depression -- so it's unreasonable to lay the blame at the feet of Frost and, more questionably, his poem. Granted Thomas was miffed (at best) by its subtle inferences -- and that, in itself, might well have been a spur to action -- but where does one draw the line between cause and effect?

  • Waterlooplein1
    Waterlooplein1 3 years ago

    What would we be talking about if Thomas survived WWI?

  • erhagman
    erhagman 3 years ago

    i luv juan

  • Joel Graves
    Joel Graves 3 years ago

    Does not end "Two roads diverged in a YELLOW wood, and I-/I took the one less traveled by" Added a yellow. The yellow would break the 9 syllable rule of each line.

  • Electricity taster
    Electricity taster 3 years ago

    Whenever you have to chose between left or right, remember this: Left is wrong, right is right.
    Guaranteed 50% success rate.

  • andrewxc1335
    andrewxc1335 3 years ago +1

    "Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,"
    Yeah, I can see Robert Frost impatiently tapping his feet, thinking, "it really makes no difference! Just PICK one!"
    The lenses through which the narrator sees his path is interesting; both nostalgically arguing that the choice made was the "right" one, and that the choice has "made all the difference," as in made him who he is today.
    I'm probably wildly wrong, but it's just how I can see it.