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What if Dr. Seuss wrote 'The Road Not Taken'?

Wed 21 May 2008, 01:14 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
Inline GIF imageLong term readers of this blog may recall that back in 2004, I wrote some variations on the theme of Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken" (click here if you need a refresher).  What if the poem had been done as a haiku or as a limerick?  I spent a bit of time in the last couple days adding more variations, and I thought I'd share the whole set, as it is entertaining (to me at least).  Where I am using a format you might not know, I'll try to add a short explanation. 


Two roads, one wood
a traveller divided
Chose one less travelled


There once was a yellow wood
Where a befuddled traveller stood
With two roads divided

He stood undecided
Finally picking one noone else would.


Two roads
Diverging paths
Choosing the wilder one
No regrets, but one day perhaps

Sophisticated Mother Goose

Two roads, two roads, antipodes
Divergent, insurgent and urgent
Decisions, revisions, life long division
No balking, keep walking emergent. 

Shakespearean Sonnet

I wandered forth into the sunlit wood
The beauty of the trees fair caught my eye
Under the dappled shadows long I stood
'Ere on I went on through pale leaves piled high.

My path ran straight before me without bend
'Till in a clearing bright 'twas cleft in twain
Though looked I down to see where each would end
For which to venture on, I looked in vain.

The trampled path on one side seemed more used
Although, in fairness, both were worn the same
In deepest thought I stood and looked and mused
On where my future lay, to which lay claim.

The course of life is fraught with choices thus
And choices made will long influence us.

* Shakespearean sonnet: iIambic pentameter with the form abab cdcd efef gg with the last two lines an epigrammatic close or twist on the early stanzas.


A most tranquil and peaceful wood
With yellow trees 'midst which I stood
Yet choose a road I knew I should
Which way was good? Which way was good?

One way was slightly trampled more
With leaves all bent and grass all poor
But both were worn to ev'n the score
Which to explore?  Which to explore?

I chose at last though I knew not
If rightly chose, or vainly sought
If ever aft' gave too much thought
Became distraught.  Became distraught.

Yet now at last yearn for surcease
'Cause choices made must choice decrease
And having made, give some release.
Go now in peace.  Go now in peace.

* Monotetra format: A series of 4-line stanzas, 8 syllables per line (tetrameter); 
End rhyme is same throughout each stanza (monorhyme);
The last line of each stanza consists of: Two repeated 4-syllable phrases in the same monorhyme.

Copyright 2008 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

698.1. Karl-Henry Martinsson
(05/21/2008 02:39 PM)

I would like to see the H.P. Lovecraft version... :-)

698.2. Ben Langhinrichs
(05/21/2008 07:21 PM)

H. P. Lovecraft sounds good, but every one of his poem that I can find sounds different. Is there any specific sound you'd like, or just the gothic, macabre air?

698.3. Richard Schwartz
(05/21/2008 07:43 PM)


698.4. Karl-Henry Martinsson
(05/22/2008 09:12 AM)

Just his generic style. If you can include the Great Old Ones and R'lyeh, it would be cool. :-)

698.5. Harry Davies
(13/10/2008 01:39 AM)

Nice work Ben, I like the Shakespearean Sonnet the most. I hope you wouldn't mind if I used it in an English Assignment I am doing at the moment. It involves writing my own poem and comparing it to another, deconstructing and analysing them.