Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Frost's "The Road Not Taken" and Machado's "Traveler, your footprints" - Two Poems in Conversation

This idea of these two poems being in conversation was shared by Emma Otheguy at #KidLitCon2019, and it's still resonating for me.

Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken," that ends with the lines,

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

And Antonio Machado's "Traveler, your footprints," that so eloquently contrasts with these lines,

Traveler, there is no road;
you make your own path as you walk.
Traveler, there is no road;
only a ship's wake on the sea.

Frost's poem is the classic I learned about in school here in America, but I so prefer Machado's perspective on life. There are more than two paths. There are infinite paths, and our steps make them, like "wake[s] upon the sea."

Here's those final two lines of Machado's poem in their original Spanish,

Caminante, no hay camino
sino estelas en la mar."

I find this vision so encouraging, and inspiring. Click the links above to read both poems in their entirety.

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,

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