THE ROADS LESS TRAVELLED – Ziggy Marley’s “Wild & Free”

I take the roads less travelled I’m on my way
I take the roads less travelled I’ll see you again some day
I take the roads less travelled well I’m on my way

When I was a young boy people try to tell me what I should be
And then a wise man sang decide your own destiny
Aunty said choices you make chances you take
To be free to be free to be free I got to be brave

I take the roads less travelled I’m on my way
I take the roads less travelled I’ll see you some day

Now my daddy had a lot of women and my mama had a lot of grief
And the brethrens that surrounded him became the enemies
Cause greed can’t be satisfied by money and jealousy’s a disease
Oh if you don’t learn from history what a blind man see

I take the roads less travelled I’m on my way
I take the roads less travelled see you again one day

The more I love the more hurt I feel
And that’s all right by me cause that’s just how I be
I could be like a brother sold out for a million dollar
I could be like a brother despising one another

And aunty said choices you make chances you take
And to be free to be free to be free you got to be brave

I take the roads less travelled I’m on my way
I take the roads less travelled I’ll see you some day
I take the roads less travelled I’m on my way

Ziggy Marley decided to travel a path of life different than his father, the famous reggae musician Bob Marley. He even mentioned in the song that he and his family suffered so much due to his dad’s womanising.  And yet, Ziggy grew up strong and free, and calls people to freedom to this day.
Yahweh is leading us down His road!
I quoted the poem “THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED” to a friend tonight over the phone, as we discussed my desire to see Messianism spread throughout the world.  I’m not interested in starting a cult or sect, I said, but rather I’d like to see movements totally separate from Christianity, any of the present versions of it.  Instead, we follow the Messiah, the Sacred Scriptures, and fight for justice in this world, do battle against the evils of the Matrix, and support healthy, loving living.
So here’s the poem I once studied who knows where:

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 marked 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.

Robert Frost the US poet published this in 1916.
I love this line:
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Some say the poem supports American spirit of Individualism.  Instead, it reflects on retrospection, as Marshall McLuhan, the media and literature guru from the University of Toronto:
“The past went that-a-way. When faced with a totally new situation, we tend always to attach ourselves to the objects, to the flavor of the most recent past. We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future.” (Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, The Medium is the Massage, pp. 73-74)
Here is a deeper explanation of the Frost poem:

Frost said his poem “The Road Not Taken” was tricky-very tricky. Three things make his poem tricky-the time frame, and the words “sigh” and “difference.”Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” has been one of the most analyzed, quoted, anthologized poems in American poetry. A wide-spread interpretation claims that the speaker in the poem is promoting individualism and non-conformity.

A Tricky Poem

Frost claims that he wrote this poem about his friend Edward Thomas, with whom he had walked many times in the woods near London. Frost has said that while walking they would come to different paths and after choosing one, Thomas would always fret wondering what they might have missed by not taking the other path.

About the poem, Frost asserted, “You have to be careful of that one; it’s a tricky poem – very tricky.” And he is, of course, correct. The poem has been and continues to be used as an inspirational poem, one that to the undiscerning eye seems to be encouraging self-reliance, not following where others have led.

But a close reading of the poem proves otherwise. It does not moralize about choice; it simply says that choice is inevitable, but you never know what your choice will mean until you have lived it.

First Stanza – Describes Situation

The poem consists of four stanzas. In the first stanza, the speaker describes his position. He has been out walking the woods and comes to two roads, and he stands looking as far down each one as he can see. He would like to try out both, but doubts he could to that, so therefore he continues to look down the roads for a long time trying to make his decision about which road to take.

Second Stanza – Decides to Take Less-Traveled Road

The speaker had looked down the first one “to where it bent in the undergrowth,” and in the second stanza, he reports that he decided to take the other path, because it seemed to have less traffic than the first. But then he goes on to say that they actually were very similarly worn. The second one that he took seems less traveled, but as he thinks about it, he realizes that they were “really about the same.” Not exactly the same but only “about the same.”

Third Stanza – Continues Description of Roads

The third stanza continues with the cogitation about the possible differences between the two roads. He had noticed that the leaves were fresh fallen on them both and had not been walked on, but then again claims that maybe he would come back and also walk the first one sometime, but he doubted he would be able to, because in life one thing leads to another and time is short.

Fourth Stanza – Two Tricky Words

The fourth stanza holds the key to the trickiness of the poem:

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.

Those who interpret this poem as suggesting non-conformity take the word “difference” to be a positive difference. But there is nothing in the poem that suggests that this difference signals a positive outcome. The speaker could not offer such information, because he has not lived the “difference” yet.

The other word that leads readers astray is the word “sigh.” By taking “difference” to mean a positive difference, they think that the sigh is one of nostalgic relief; however, a sigh can also mean regret. There is the “oh, dear” kind of sigh, but also the “what a relief” kind of sigh. Which one is it?

If it is the relief sigh, then the difference means the speaker is glad he took the road he did; if it is the regret sigh, then the difference would not be good, and the speaker would be sighing in regret. But the plain fact is that the poem does not identify the nature of that sigh. The speaker of the poem does not even know the nature of that sigh, because that sigh and his evaluation of the difference his choice will make are still in the future. It is a truism that any choice an individual makes is going to make “all the difference” in how one’s future turns out.

Careful Readers Won’t Be Tricked

So Frost was absolutely correct; his poem is tricky—very tricky. In this poem, it is important to be careful with the time frame. When the speaker says he will be reporting sometime in the future how his road choice turned out, he clearly states that he cannot assign meaning to “sigh” and “difference” yet, because he cannot know how his choice will affect his future, until after he has lived it.

NO, this is not an individualistic thing.  I go with my wife, with my kids, with my friends and neighbours.
We travel together . . . to Zion . . . in opposition to Babylon.
My re-interpretation of “Onward Christian Soldiers”:
Onward Messianic Peace-lovers,
marching non-violently as to war,
With the heart of Yeshua, going on before . . .
Try this one on for size: THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED
Cheers,
Dimitri
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About sleepless in turtle island

Hi, I´m Dimitri. I have lived in Turtle Island for awhile now, so my cultural understanding is slowly improving. Also, I can see things in this place that boggle my mind. Thus this blog...
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