Frank and Earnest are alluding to “The Road Not Taken,” by American poet Robert Frost. The poem’s title is often mistakenly called “The Road Less Traveled” because of the popularity of the second-to-last line.
According to Wikipedia, Frost’s metaphorical poem can be interpreted either as inspirational or ironic. For more details, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_Not_Taken_%28poem%29. Or read the entire poem below and decide for yourself.
“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 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.
Robert Frost, Mountain Interval, 1916
The poem reminds me of key decisions I’ve made on my life’s journey. I vote for the “inspirational” theory.