Robert Frost, A Cactus Flower And Love Letter to 2017


by Barbara Nevins Taylor

We awoke to find that 2017 began with a burst of beauty in our home. The cactus flower spread in brilliant color, almost in full bloom, offering a sweet message for us to share.

But I wanted to put more on the page and looked through the titles on my shelves. I reached for a book of poems by Robert Frost. It fell open to a long-time favorite. When I scanned the lines, reciting some from memory, the poem seemed perfect.  It reads like a love letter to optimism, risk-taking and just what we need for the year ahead.


                 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 

took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Here’s a short clip of a video of Frost struggling with his own copy at President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration on January 20, 1961.


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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.