Road Not Taken (ASL)

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Image description: A white young man is standing in front of a orangish/whitish wall. He is wearing a white T-shirt, grey-ish pants, and a brown belt. He is signing “ROAD.”

Purpose: I translated this poem because it is commonly studied in school, and I wanted to provide access for the Deaf community. I also strongly recommend that you check out beautiful ASL translations by Anna McCall (who first paved the road for us) and Crom Saunders. It is beneficial to have more ASL translations so that we can all understand the poem better.

Translation notes: I follow the traditional view of the poem (where the roads symbolize life choices), which is more serious than the author’s original intention of the poem being a joke. For more information about the history of the poem, please read I also did not explicitly say “long I stood” and “with a sigh” and some other phrases because they are implied.

Title: Road Not Taken

Author: Robert Frost

English text:

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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