Acquainted with the Night Poetry Analysis

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The poem “Acquainted with the Night” was written by Robert Frost and was published in the collection, The West Running Brook. A common interpretation of the poem is that the author has experienced depression. Frost himself was said to have experienced depression, and mental illness is unfortunately prevalent throughout his family. He had to commit his sister to a mental hospital and his own son committed suicide. Using the “night” as a metaphor the reader can experience what the world around them feels like when inside of the darkness of depression. It speaks of isolation and loneliness. The narrator feels this loneliness even though he is surrounded by life in a city. The poem is in the same format as a Shakespearian sonnet. It is fourteen lines and written in iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme that Frost uses is the “terza rima” pattern (meaning the third rhyme). The pattern is ABA CDC DAD then AA. This pattern is said to be very difficult to write in English. The rhythm of iambic pentameter is important to the context of this particular poem because it’s like the sound of steady footsteps on pavement like the narrator of the poem walking through the night. Acquainted with the night is a poem about someone who knows the night well. Frost expresses this by repeating the line, “I have been one acquainted with the night” (1, 14). The repetition is used for the first line of the poem and the last. There is also repletion of the word “I” throughout the poem. This shows that the narrator experiencing the night alone. He feels lonesome. Throughout the poem Frost describes the darkness and sadness of the night. He describes the sadness he feels by writing, “I have looked down the saddest city lane. / I have passed by the watchman on his beat/ And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain” (4-6). These lines also speak of the isolation the narrator feels. It also shows the narrator has a self-imposed isolation. He chooses to walk around a city, yet cannot connect with...
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