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Analysis and comments on Acquainted With the Night by Robert Frost

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Comment 21 of 411, added on November 28th, 2005 at 2:35 PM.

i think the title aquainted with the night is ironic to a certain degree.
The reason for this is because the literal meaning of the word aquainted is
when you know something vaguely. When you are aquainted to someone you know
only superficial information about them. I believe Frost meant this to be
ironic because after reading the poem one can note that he knows the night
profoundly, and not just superficially.

Andrea from Brazil
Comment 20 of 411, added on November 16th, 2005 at 8:41 PM.

I can definately relate to this poem.
Frost uses the night to describe our(humanity) troubles we endure." I have
walked out in rain- and back in rain," means the speaker has dealt with
problems and survived them. Frost's repetative use of "I" emphasizes the
loneliness he feels, the solitude with how he must go through this alone.
The "watchman" seems to be a metaphor for God, the person who he is ashamed
to admit his wrong- doings, "and dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain." I
think he might have even contemplated suicide," I have stood still and
stopped the sound of feet" but unsure of it is the right thing to do.
Believing someone might care "and interrupted cry" changes his mind but
realizes again that he is back to where he began, alone in the dark with no
one to help him. No hope. Even the "luminary clock" which is suposed to
give LIGHT to all beneath it to find their way "proclaimed the time was
neither wrong nor right." Again alnoe in the dark,and once more "I have
been one acquainted with the night."
I can relate.

Teresa from United States
Comment 19 of 411, added on October 25th, 2005 at 11:02 PM.

wow... this poem has nothing to do with the adventures of walking. Although
he is literally walking through a city and ultimately away from the city,
this journey is not the point of the poem.

I think he is expressing his lonliness and how he feels friendless and
awkward around people. "aquainted with the night" suggests that the night
is his only true companion in life.

Ok i'm tired so i'll make this quick :
I think the watchman is symbolic of God
I think the luminary clock is a full moon
I think the cry means nothing to his life and is significant only as being
not meant for him.
I think he droops his eyes in the face of the watchman not only because he
is antsocial, but also ashamed at the way his life is.
I think he was depressed when he wrote this... definately...

Will from United States
Comment 18 of 411, added on October 16th, 2005 at 10:46 AM.

Walk and walk often. Walk in the rain and at night. Walk in the day in the
light. Walk, for at least 40 minutes and let your mind drift. Walk for 30
days in a row, maybe 90 - walk like you plan to walk everyday of life. Your
mind will enjoy the adventure.

Patrick from United States
Comment 17 of 411, added on October 7th, 2005 at 10:05 AM.

this poem is neato. i have to analyze it fo school and im all pumped up !!

aunt jamima is one cool catt yooooo ;]


camy from Bosnia and Herzegovina
Comment 16 of 411, added on October 2nd, 2005 at 1:42 PM.

Is this poem actually about Frost and his life, or is he merely giving
another work on the existence of humanity?

Mikal from Brunei Darussalam, Negara
Comment 15 of 411, added on September 29th, 2005 at 7:47 PM.

the ryhme in this poem is a,b,a, b,c,b c,d,c d,a,d a,a
i think this poem is about someone wanting to leave the city the poem is
about lonliness and isolation
When he passes the watchman, he drops his eyes and having no explanation
for it. This could mean he is shy around others or feels awkward around
others.when I stood still it stopped the sound of feet; he was in complete
solitude from the rest of society. poem seems to be talking about how
social the world is. In which this case there is no communication between
him and anyone, just loneliness His only friend is “the luminary clock
against the sky”, luminary clock is the moon but you already know that, it
seems he confides his problems to the night Like you would do with a best

tazdummy from United States
Comment 14 of 411, added on August 25th, 2005 at 9:52 PM.

I wonder why we all tend to analyze poetry so much. Sometimes I find that I
have to just read it as it is and take it at face value. I will say, I
like reading everyone's comments as it gave me new perspectives.

This poem reached me simply because I live in a rough area of the city,
(Right downtown actually) and if I happen to be out walking the dogs I tend
to stay out of the way and keep my head down. I see the homeless and the
girls out on the streets and in the alleys. This poem seems so familiar
right now.

Zanne from Canada
Comment 13 of 411, added on August 7th, 2005 at 7:18 PM.

In the poem "Acquainted With the Night" by Robert Frost, the narrator
does not speak about the urban city nor the country-side. For all records,
the poem has basically nothing to do with the enviroment the narrator is in
and what he feels about it, but more of his personal feelings towards
himself and his very existence. If you look at it from the positive angle,
you can see that the narrator is obviously troubled, not mentally but
because of a certain reason that he does not reveal through the entire
poem. The narrator is walking sleeplessly and aimlessly through the city.
He is kept up and is an insomniac, just as Robert Frost was. He is
obviously lonely and the theme of the poem is loneliness. He has a fatal
problem that troubles him throughout the entire narration. A very large
and important motif in the poem is the rain. As the narrator speaks that
"I have walked out in rain and back in rain" he is saying that he has
basically had problems throughout his entire life. When he speaks about
the "Watchman on his beat", the watchman can be a metaphor for God and how
the narrator hangs his head down in shame and is unwilling to explain of
his doing that has been the cause of the problem. The narrator had
obviously done something to create a problem for himself. When he speaks
about the "Saddest city lane" he is speaking basically about the saddest
point in his life and the largest problem in his life. Now we move onto
the "luminary clock". The luminary clock is a metaphor for the full moon
that was out that night. But to understand the full meaning of the moon,
you must understand the repition of "I am one acquainted with the night".
By saying this line, the narrator says that he is one that is commonly
surrounded by problems throughout his life and that he is one person that
is lost in his problems. The luminary clock can be seen as a signal of
hope for those who have lost all hope in their problems. The night may be
a metaphor for the mistakes and problems that the narrator has. And the
luminary clock is a beacon of light for those lost in the darkness of the
night. The "scream" is most likely a memory of the large mistake that the
narrator keeps speaking about recurring inside his head. It is truly
unclear of what Frost is truly speaking about in this poem against all
others, but clues have been found that lead people to what he was truly
saying. Robert Frost was one person that was surrounded by death. If you
read about him, you should realize what I am speaking about . . . and this
poem clearly represents some of his feeling toward those problems which
have led him to be a very alienated and lonely individual.
I have said all I can about the poem and I'll say no more.

SinOfHades from Bosnia and Herzegovina
Comment 12 of 411, added on June 24th, 2005 at 1:39 AM.

I think that the speaker here does not like city life. The line 'I have
walked out in rain -- and back in rain' gives the effect of a pendulum
swinging back and forth and this is supposed to mean that city life is a
routine, perhaps boring or meaningless.

The words 'looked down the saddest city lane' and 'passed by the watchman'
implies that city life is just about 'passing by'; that the speaker is
always just a 'passer by'. The watchman 'on his beat' also emphasises the
pendulum's back-and-forth movement. Also, the speaker is awkward around
other people 'dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain'. This is like our
lives - when we get into an elevator with a stranger, do we talk to
him/her? Or do we just smile and look down at the floor, sensing a strange
awkwardness between the two of you? (I don't know about you, but for me it
is the latter.) It is this lack of communication between people in the city
which the speaker does not enjoy.

The 'interrupted cry' is disturbing to the speaker - why would someone cry
out? Yet he does not stop to wonder or worry about what is happening - he
just moves on. ('passing by') 'But not to call me back or say good-bye' -
this is related to the earlier sentence where the speaker does not stop to
worry about the person - the person does not care about the speaker; he
does not cry for him. I think here the speaker is trying to show that the
people in the city do not show concern for each other, preferring to just
'pass by' silently.

'Further still' further emphasises the distance between people, and the 2
'one's in the poem also show that people's lives are solitary. The speaker
could be appealing to the luminosity of the "clock" (or moon) - which could
represent hope in darkness - and its symbolic wisdom for answers.

It is ironical that the "clock", which is supposed to tell time, could not
tell whether the time "was ... wrong or right". The fact that this
uncertainty was 'proclaimed' was ironical too, as 'to proclaim' is to
announce with confidence.

Hannah from Singapore

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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: 186 times
Poem of the Day: May 16 2003

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