Jeff Davis High School’s Mrs. Rogers And The Road Not Taken

For the past, mm, 27 years, I’ve proceeded under the interpretation that Poet Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken took place on Dec. 21, the Winter Solstice.

In fact, I’ve wandered through time thinking there was a line to the effect of “on this shortest day of the year.”

But in preparing to post this piece, I found an important fact: it is no where in the poem.

Mrs. Rogers

I can distinctly remember Carol Rogers, the strict, strict Junior year English teacher emphasizing this point.  I even seem to recall that the page in our English book was printed with a illustration depicting a man in the woods, and there even having been snow on the ground.

Whether the relating to Winter Solstice and the poem is accurate, I’m thankful I had Mrs. Rogers.  There were a good number of students who had her at Jefferson Davis High School in Montgomery, Alabama, and I’ll bet most of us will share the same perspective of her.  She was strict, but she also made sure we learned something about English and ourselves during our year in her class.

Winter Solstice 2010

So on this night, when Dec. 21, 2010 begins, and shortly thereafter the first Winter Solstice lunar eclipse in the past 456 years, I offer you The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.

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–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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This is an image of the tree line from the new County Road 510 Bridge near Marquette, Michigan.


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Donald J. Claxton | The Timberlander, a selfie from camping for 13 weeks in 2022 on the Claxton family land in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, northwest of Marquette.

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I refer to myself as “The Timberlander” because I love off-grid living and woodworking.

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