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Your introduction to the famous Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken” might have been when your grade-school teacher told you that the road in question was the one fewer people traveled. The road of independence. The better road. Go the wilder route, the poem says. Bushwhack to unseen beauty! Discover what others haven’t.

You may have held on to that interpretation, but the road not taken, if you read carefully, is clearly not the same road as the “one less traveled.” The road not taken is simply the other road—the one that “bent in the undergrowth” of the yellow wood. The roads aren’t even that different, as described in these overlooked lines: “Though as for that the passing there/ Had worn them really about the same, / And both that morning equally

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This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Four

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