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Analysis and comments on Acquainted With the Night by Robert Frost

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Comment 57 of 447, added on May 6th, 2009 at 11:49 PM.

Throughout this poem Frost uses imagery to bring out the best of this
scene. This poem is about an individual who walks long distances in
solitude and is comfortable with his own thoughts. He also uses the clock
as a symbol for the moon in this part: "And further still at an unearthly
height One luminary clock against the sky."

Bret Hubert from United States
Comment 56 of 447, added on May 6th, 2009 at 10:15 AM.

In this poem "Acquaited With the Night," by Robert Frost, Frost shows many
examples of diction and imagery which takes place in the city. Diction
reinforces the theme of sadness and loneliness in Frost's poem. "I have
outwalked the furthest city light. I have looked down the saddest city
lane." Through these lines He has tried to avoid his loneliness by walking
until he reaches the furthest light of the city. The persona reflects that
maybe he is outwalking all the lights in the city so he can cleas his mind
and listen to his own thoughts.

tiwi from United States
Comment 55 of 447, added on May 5th, 2009 at 11:07 PM.

In Robert Frost's Acquainted With the Night he demonstrates that he is a
very experienced man. This poem is showing a period of time that must have
been depressing. However, it could not of been the Great Depression due to
the fact that this poem was written in 1928 and the Great Crash didn't
occur until late 1929. Growing up without a father, and moving several
times while young must have been tough for Frost. Quite possibly giving
him some of the experiences in this poem, such as walking somewhere and
back in the pouring rain. Which also is not uncommon seeing as how many
families didn't have cars while he was growing up. This poem has a very
simple rhyme structure, which makes it simple and entertaining to read; one
of Frost's writing styles.

Riley Ludwig from United States
Comment 54 of 447, added on May 5th, 2009 at 9:14 PM.

I've read that Robert Frost had many hardships in his life and may of
suffered from depression.This poem
sounds like it may represent a part of his life where he was lonley and in
a dark place. Talking about night and rain is a lonley and depressing thing
and walking down the saddest city lane unwilling to explain is sad
and indicates he is holding this sadness inside. Hearing a cry from from
away but not to call me back, may mean he is not missed when he is gone,
maybe because he felt a lack of love from his parents or someone close to
him. One luminary clock against the sky is refering to moon, again
something far away and lonley. I think this is a very sad and depresing

ashley engeln from United States
Comment 53 of 447, added on May 4th, 2009 at 12:48 AM.

This poem by Robert Frost gives the reader a connection or a greater
understanding of Frost’s life. Frost wrote this poem in first person so
this suggests that he is reflecting back on his life. He has gone through a
number of hardships throughout his time, for example, there have been a lot
of deaths in his family. His father died when he was at the age of 11 and
his mother died later on. Therefore, this poem gives a dark, depressing
feel to it expressing the difficulties that Frost has had. Like Edgar
Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven’, a poem with a similar loneliness kind of theme to
it with ‘Acquainted with the Night’; Frost had used a refrain. Frost
repeated the phrase ‘I have been one acquainted with the night’ just like
Poe repeated ‘Nevermore’. Also, another technique Frost had used is
metaphor, ‘One luminary clock against the sky’; this line could be
interpreted as the luminary clock meaning the moon.

Fiona Carter from United States
Comment 52 of 447, added on April 29th, 2009 at 1:30 AM.

Frost is known for being more traditional than most writers. Acquainted
with the Night has an iambic rhythm and a masculine rhyme scheme. A
masculine rhyme scheme is where the last word in every other line rhymes
and makes the poem flow and makes it seem more dramatic. This poem being in
first person shows that he himself has experienced being acquainted with
the night. It’s unusual that Frost wrote this poem because he left the
lonely country side to go to the city, and using “I” is representing
isolation. The first line of the first stanza states "I have been one
acquainted with the night," not "I am." This suggests a past situation of
the narrator's life. The word “Acquainted” means to know but not
necessarily to be a friend of or to know very well. However, the narrator
is saying that he knows quite well what the night is like; again this shows
that he has experienced this personally. Frost has also used refrains in
this poem. He used “I have been acquainted with the night,” like Edgar
Allen Poe in the Raven.

Arlene B from United States
Comment 51 of 447, added on January 22nd, 2009 at 8:22 AM.

my teacher is making me do a project on this peom for the mid-term finals
and i thought what every kid thinks "lame" but once i looked at this and
looked at the meanings i now think that its a pretty good peom.

will from United States
Comment 50 of 447, added on September 20th, 2008 at 8:57 PM.

Themes of this poem: Depression, darkness, loneliness. I feel that this
poem is a reflection of Frosts life up to this point. This poem was
published in his volume West Running Brook in 1928. Mental illness ran in
Robert Frosts family. Many of his family members have died at this point in
his life, and some will die very soon.

- he and his mother suffered from depression
- wife also experienced depression
- father died of tuberculosis in 1885 (Frost was 11)
- mother died of cancer in 1900
- son died of cholera in 1904
- daughter died three days after birth in 1907
- committed his younger sister to a mental hospital in 1920, where she died
nine years later
- daughter died as a result of puerperal fever after childbirth in 1934
- wife had heart problems throughout her life & developed breast cancer in
1937 & died of heart failure in 1938
- son committed suicide 1940
- daughter Irma was committed to a mental hospital in 1947
- Only two children outlived him (he had six children)

The poem is all in past tense which shows he's looking back or reflecting
on something.

Poem analyzed line-by-line:

Acquainted With the Night
Acquainted: 1. having personal knowledge as a result of study, experience,
etc.; informed (usually followed by with) 2. brought into social contact;
made familiar.
Night symbolism: dark, lonely, sad, depressing
He has personal knowledge, experienced and made familiar with sad, lonely

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have been through bad times
Reflecting back on a hard time in his life (past tense)

I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain.
Spent a lot of time in depression

I have outwalked the furthest city light.
There have been points in my life where I have had no hope

I have looked down the saddest city lane.

I have passed by the watchman on his beat
passed someone of importance
the watchman is God

And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
Put on a brave face so that everyone thinks you're fine
doesn't want to talk about his depression
He thought about suicide, but was ashamed and didn't want God to know

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
People have stopped to help me

When far away an interrupted cry
Off in his own world

Came over houses from another street,
Too lost in his own world to help others

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
saying goodbye to his deceased family

And further still at an unearthly height,
Looking to religion to help him
looking up at the moon

One luminary clock against the sky
symbolism for luminary = light & hope; clock = time (so in time there will
be reason for hope)
The moon, tells us what time it is like a clock—night time

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
Lost track of time in his life
Doesn't really care what time it is; time doesn't matter

I have been one acquainted with the night.
Reflecting on his life struggles from a present view

Heather from Canada
Comment 49 of 447, added on September 21st, 2007 at 8:20 PM.

Several people have mentioned they feel the "luminary clock" is actually
the moon. I may be wrong, but I never viewed it as such. I think it really
is a clock. "Unearthly height" to describe the distance of the moon seems
pretty redundant of Frost-- of course the moon is "unearthly" higher than
the earth, because its not OF the earth to begin with, its the moon. The
clock is AGAINST the sky, not IN the sky, because its just a really tall

Brittany from United States
Comment 48 of 447, added on May 25th, 2007 at 1:34 AM.

The feelings that i see in this poem are that of routine and sadness. He
almost seems forgotten. He knows exactly when and where something is going
to happen. Every time he hears a noise, he hopes that it may be directed
towards him. He is so used to the rhythm of this city and is bored perhaps.

laura woods from United States

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Information about Acquainted With the Night

Poet: Robert Frost
Poem: 21. Acquainted With the Night
Volume: West-Running Brook
Year: 1928
Added: Feb 1 2004
Viewed: 941 times
Poem of the Day: May 16 2003

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