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M. Scott Peck
The curve in 'The Road Not Taken'
The curve in 'The Road Not Taken'

Quick: What do rocker Melissa Etheridge, self-help guru M. Scott Peck and troubled insurance giant AIG have in common? Answer: A common misreading of one of America's most famous poems. All have made use of a line from Robert Frost's 1916 poem, "The Road Not Taken," to label their work, or their image, or both. The poem, in which the narrator stands in a "yellow wood" and ponders which of two paths to take, ends, "I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference." It's popularly read as a paean to American rugged individualism. Peck, who died in 2005, likely promoted the misreading. Considered a founding father of the...

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