We grow accustomed to the Dark —
When light is put away —
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Goodbye —

A Moment — We uncertain step
For newness of the night —
Then — fit our Vision to the Dark —
And meet the Road — erect —

And so of larger — Darkness —
Those Evenings of the Brain —
When not a Moon disclose a sign —
Or Star — come out — within —

The Bravest — grope a little —
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead —
But as they learn to see —

Either the Darkness alters —
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight —
And Life steps almost straight.

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

4 Comments

  1. Sam Jeffery says:

    I think that the poem is about humanity and our general fear of the future or the unknown. With “We grow accustomed to the Dark” and the rest of the first stanza, it’s stating that as we are surrounded in fear we become used to it, live in it, thrive in it. But there are times that this Darkness is not able to control people, and these people adapt to whatever fears or horrors they may see/witness and strive to break free with adamant endeavor. Stanza four tells of how of these people that resist the Darkness, there are a few that will undergo some sort of realization that sets them free of their fears and allows them to see truly, unhindered by emotional distortion. At this time the final stanza explains that the previously spoken is a turning point in the existence of the Darkness itself—that people either succumb to their fears and live without question of reality or people achieve a mental greatness that allows them to transcend the Darkness and mold it into whatever they desire it to be, effectively granting them control of their own perception of reality. Regardless, this is how “Life”, being in essence simply ‘the way things work’, occurs, and continues to do so in a constant pattern with slight hiccups every time the Darkness is defeated. This is the story of human nature and the mind.

  2. Rachel says:

    It could be about overcoming a fear of death but I see it more as when one is plunged into a certain way of life, a darker or just plain less enthused way of life you stumble at first and then grow used to it. Like if you had a headache and it was there for days, never wavering eventually you would become accustomed to it, and carry on with it. Such as being thrown into darkness your eyes adjust and you can see. I think she just means that however bad things get and you think you might not get where you’re going you’ll get used to it, or get through it, or even just accept it and live with it as reality.

  3. Audren Glass says:

    The poem calmly overcomes fear of the future, and I think, any fear of death. It has a soothing, comforting message that is like breathing fresh air on awakening on a warm spring morning.

  4. Daschelle says:

    Is there any particular reason that your copy of this poem doesn’t have the plural “darknesses” in the line: “And so of larger — Darknesses –?” As far as I know that is how it was originally written.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem better? If they are accepted, they will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.