This is a first draft. Critique it for me.


This is a response to the wonderful Robert Frost poem- ” The Road Not Taken.” I think it absolutely brilliant – now. Maybe tomorrow I will rip it up and delete the word file.
What should I do ?
Should it go ?
Or should it stay ?

After “ The Road not Taken”- Robert Frost

I took the road more travelled,
cajoled by circumstance and friends
into a broader path, for one
who fears to start more than to end.

But now I can’t return.

The yellow wood,
the intersecting paths
belong to others now.

Way no longer leads to way
but narrows to a single track.
I cannot stop. I cannot stray
I must walk on and not look back.

The finish can’t be far. Perhaps
another wood at the road’s end,
with trees just coming into bud,
leaves dripping sunlight,
and the smell of green.


4 thoughts on “This is a first draft. Critique it for me.

  1. My expertise in editing does not extend to poetry. However, you asked so I will extend my considered opinion.
    First- Please, please, please do not delete this poem, or indeed any of your work. You do beautiful work and this is no exception, quite the opposite, in fact.
    The final line in the first stanza is a little confused. I’m not sure if it referring to the path or the speaker. Perhaps this was intentional though?
    I might suggest adding a line/stanza break after the first line in the final stanza to balance out the earlier single line. “But now I can’t return”(Love the abrupt and rather final realization there by the way, like the slamming of a door.)
    The last two lines are lovely, the imagery fairly breathes a soft sigh of regret, but the final line feels a little truncated or out of symmetry with the meter in the rest of the poem. Of course, given the subject matter, perhaps it works best this way.
    And now you know why I don’t critique poetry.
    This is a powerful piece. I love the way the Frost lines are turned, just so, to produce a different perspective, bittersweet and more haunting than the original. You are a wonderful poet. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Thank you so much for your positive and encouraging crit. It’s marvelllous to have someone who can see what you intend- and also see where you could make things clearer. Essentially this poem as it stands is a sandwich. The opening is unclear ( it came from an earlier, abortive start) and needs a rewrite- and in my heart I always knew that the last line of the poem is a place keeper. I suspect I need a rhyme there. The stuff in between is ok. The other points you noticed- I hadn’t – so thank you for that. I agree with everything you say there. I’ll go back to work and post an updated version.

      ” You are a wonderful poet” you said. Wow! That’s really made my idea.
      Thank you.

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