Council on Energy, Environment and Water Integrated | International | Independent
Book Chapter

Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow WoodEdited by Chhavi Sharma

July 2021 |

Suggested citation: Chhavi Sharma, Urvi Sharma. 2020. Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood. New Delhi: Council on Energy, Environment and Water.


The Road Not Taken is a well-known poem about making choices in our life. The choices we make shape us. In the poem, the road symbolizes our life and the path that we don't choose is “the road not taken”. The poet describes his life experience and says that long ago he had two choices to make.

He had chosen one and moved ahead with it. Now, if he wants to make another choice, he can’t do so. The message the poet wants to convey is that the choices we make significantly impacts our future. If we make the wrong choice, then we can’t go back and correct it. We will have no option other than regretting it. So, we should be wise enough while making a decision or choices in our life.


Note: The image is animated

Key Findings by Robert Frost

Assessment of the poem

  • The poet was walking down the road, when he found a diversion where two roads diverged in different directions. The poet feels sorry as he can not travel on both the roads.
  • He has to make one decision and choose a single path. At the junction, the poet stood for a long time and tried to look at the roads as far as he could. He wanted to see the roads and wanted to know about both paths.
  • In the stanza, the yellow wood refers to the forest with leaves, which were shed on the road and had turned yellow. This indicates that it was autumn season.
  • The poet wants to convey that in everyone’s life there comes a time when we have to make choices. We have alternatives, but we have to choose only one. At that time, we see the pros and cons of the situation and take the time to decide which path to take. Similarly, the poet is also taking time before making any decision.
  • After taking a long time, the poet decided to take the other road. He thought that both the roads were equally good.

Events that followed on the road taken

  • The average load in UP is expected to rise from 13,000 MW to 31,613 MW; peak load is estimated to increase from 22,000 MW to 40,690 MW by 2029–30.
  • He started walking on the road which has grass on it and feels that it was a better road for him.
  • The grassy road means that the road was not used and the wanted wear means that only a few people have walked through it.
  • After walking some distance on the road, the poet feels that both the paths were almost the same. There was hardly any difference between them.
  • Through this the poet conveys that, in our life whatever decision we take or choices we make, each choice has some advantages and some disadvantages.
  • Problems are everywhere, so we must be ready to face them.

Key recommendations

Take a deep breath

  • Call for creating a more transparent system for the exposition of costs involved in the discom operations and for the regulators to recognise costs and losses appropriately.
  • Develop a robust billing and collection mechanism to recover the cost of supply when cross-subsidising consumers have a low base and, more importantly, to cultivate commercial and industrial segments in the long run.
  • There were two options for him, and he had to opt for one.
  • At that time, he decided to take that road which was less travelled by people.
I could not travel both. And be one traveler, long I stood...

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