The Road Not Taken: Frost on World War I, Leaving England, and Edward Thomas

Robert Frost and Edward Thomas

Edward Thomas and Robert Frost … so close was their friendship that they had planned to live side by side in America. Photographs: Cotswolds Photo Library/Alamy. Digital Image by David McCoy for GNM Imaging (from The Guardian article)

“One stanza of “The Road Not Taken” was written while I was sitting on a sofa in the middle of England. [It] was as found three or four years later, and I couldn’t bear not to finish it. I wasn’t thinking about myself there, but about a friend who had gone off to war, a person who, whichever road he went, would be sorry he didn’t go the other. He was hard on himself that way. And so I . . . sent it to him in France, getting the reply, ’What are you trying to do with me?’”

-Robert Frost (at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 1953)

Today for National Poetry Month, I invite you to read this beautiful article from The Guardian about two poets and best friends: Robert Frost and Edward Thomas. With the war approaching, one decides to return home to America with his family, and one decides to head to the front. We feel a special connection to this poem at The Frost Place, as we believe it was completed here in Franconia, given the timeline.



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