And it's come to this, A man can't speak of his own child that's dead. Paths in the woods and forks in roads are ancient and deep-seated metaphors for the lifeline, its crises and decisions. I must be wonted to it--that's the reason.
This sets the mood of indecision that characterizes the language of the poem. A thousand Christmas trees I didn't know I had! Recall the final stanza: 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.
Both poems rely on the image of an unreliable road that is imperfectly understood by its traveler. What had how long it takes a birch to rot To do with what was in the darkened parlor. Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.
It keeps us in the woods, at the crossroads, unsure whether the speaker is actually even making a choice, and then ends not with the decision itself but with a claim about the future that seems unreliable. He was hard on himself that way. This is to be expected.
But Frost likely left this ambiguity on purpose so that the reader would not focus so much on condition of the road, and, instead, focus on the fact that he chose a road any road, whether it was that which was less traveled by or notand that, as a result, he has seen a change in his life.
What was it brought you up to think it the thing To take your mother--loss of a first child So inconsolably--in the face of love.