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Acquainted with the Night Poem Analysis

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Acquainted with the Night Poem Analysis

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  • March 7, 2013
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Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain – and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Robert Frost uses an effective figurative language, imagery, symbols, and diction to express the lonely, depressed feelings of the speaker in “Acquainted with the Night.” The overall combination leads to the implication of someone who is alone, depressed, and isolated. Frost uses a traditional English 14-lined sonnet, written with an iambic pentameter along with one noticeable metaphor and the personification of the objects in the night. The metaphor in the poem is noticed when the speaker describes the moon as a “luminary clock against the sky.” This metaphor shows that he has no connection to real time, as a normal person would, instead he looks to the moon for the time, but the time is almost nonexistent because the moon “proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.” This use of metaphor suggests the depressed phase in him. When the speaker implies to time by looking to the night sky and moon for the time, it provokes the lost connection within him (to the world). The personification given to the objects in the night only further hints his isolation and loneliness. In line 4, he speaks of a sad city lane, yet the lanes cannot express emotion. Then in lines 12-13 he states the moon “proclaimed” the time; but the moon has no human attributes to do so. He gives the objects around him human actions...