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Dear Robert Frost

Zoe Gilmore
Hutchison School
4th - 6th Grade

Dear Mr. Robert Frost,

Hello, my name is Zoe Gilmore! I am 11 years old and have always loved your poems, especially "The Road Not Taken." This poem has touched me in my life because it has a personal meaning to me. When some people look at this particular poem they see a scripture of writing about how you should choose the road that is not usually taken, like straying away from the herd and being different. Don't get me wrong, I love thinking outside of the box and being original, and that's what I see in this at first glance. Except, when I read this poem and really dig deep to find the meaning, I see a different story. 

When I observe this poem, I imagine a story about a man coming across a fork in the road. At the end of the poem, he says he shall take the path less walked upon because "that has made all the difference," whereas there really is no actual difference between the paths. There is no path less traveled. For instance, in the second stanza, the speaker states that both roads were "just as fair" and "about the same." In the third stanza, he also says, "both that morning equally lay." Those two statements tell me that when the man looked past the first thing he noticed, he saw that the paths were equal. However, when he looks back on his decisions ages later, he convinces himself that he made the right decision and that it determined his fate. The real lesson of this story to me is that there is no right or wrong way; it's just as if we choose differently, the outcome will simply be different. In other words, you never know which path leads to the better fate. Is this what you intended with the poem?

In my life today, I have used this lesson many times to decide if I'm making the right decision or simply choosing. I feel some people would say the poem is about being different because they are scared of choosing; they want right or wrong, a straight answer. But we all must choose eventually at some point. 

An example of when this story helped me is when I found out my parents were getting divorced. Not only was I given a choice, but my mother and father were too. Their two paths were the path to stay together and the path to separate. Seeing as life does not have a rewind button, my parents could never know what would've happened to them and their family if they stayed together. If my parents each find someone else to love, they will both think they made the right decision. However, they will never actually know what choice had "perhaps the better claim."

It was at this point that I was handed two options. One was to accept the fact that my parents did not love each other and be okay with it, and the second was to be depressed and angry. If I didn't accept it I would turn into one of those kids who hate their parents and anyone close to them. At the time I felt as though there were no options and I had to take the road that led to being okay with it, but everything in life has two possible outcomes. I eventually realized this and stopped feeling the anger at my parents and started to wonder if they would ever love each other again. I thought I had to accept it, but when I realized I didn't have to accept it, that was when I made the choice to be satisfied with their divorce. I surprisingly do hope that in the future I will be able to convince myself that I made the right decision as does the speaker in your story. This is the way that your poem "has made all the difference" to me. 

Thank you for your inspiration,
Zoe Gilmore