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Acquainted With The Night Analysis



Author: Poetry of Robert Lee Frost Type: Poetry Views: 4227



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,
O luminary clock against the sky

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

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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||




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i was hoping for some better analysis on this poem some people were close but most of their analyzing was tad bi off key

| Posted on 2012-05-01 | by a guest


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To all poetic analysts. Poems are broken down into STANZAS not PARAGRAPHS.

| Posted on 2011-01-19 | by a guest


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This poem has alot to do with frosts life experience
"i have been aquainted with the night", means that he is very familiar with the(night)being that dark road in life. His depression,marital issues, loosing most his children to death,etc.
"i have walked out in the rain--and back in the rain"
is talking about those issues being consistant. one stops the other starts. Settle one problem another arises.
"I have outwalked the furthest city light", for me was like a figure of speach, meaning, theres no more light (peace,comfort,no problems, less stress). his life was the opposite(dark). he was depressed, lost 3 of his 4 children. So you see he has "been down the saddest city lane". note that he did not use sad, which is more or less when you don't get the job you applied for or you heard on the news that a child got hurt. this is personal and he used the word saddest. even literally, the saddest city lane is not a happy sight.
I agree, "i have pass by the watchman on his beat and dropped my eyes unwilling to explain" is complicated. I believe it has to do with him declining(dropped) judgement(eyes)from GOD. he was unwilling to go into reason. frost is accepting responsibility for his actions.
have class cant finish.

| Posted on 2009-09-25 | by a guest


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What I'm noticing here is that alot of people aren't getting the deeper meaning of the poem because Frost did something alot of authors do, he paid refferance to something that the average reader just overlooks. The Terza Rima. He's using the rhyme scheme from Dante's Inferno. He's comparing the place he is to hell without ever saying anything.
Another thing people tend to miss is the "vanishing I's" watch how the number of I's changes as the poem progresses and take that meaning for yourself.
The illuminary clock is a metaphor within a metaphor it does refer to the moon but the moon refers to God. The watchman is also a reference to God, he refuses to aknowledge or explain himself to him. God is corporally there as the moon no matter how far he walks but when he finally looks to him for guidance the answer is "wrong nor right" meaningless maybe even apathetic.

| Posted on 2009-09-10 | by a guest


.: :.

I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

after learning about robert frostts life it was shown that he in fact was not the greatest person in the world. beat his wife, very strict. The idea in these two lines is that basically he is ashamed of his life. He passes by a watchman and doesnt want to make eye contact with him b/c he doesnt want to have the "will to explain" no1 wants to talk about his or her past and Frost in these two lines is showing that ya he did mess up and no he doesnt want to talk about it

| Posted on 2005-10-11 | by Approved Guest


.: Acquainted With The Night :.

In the first paragraph Frost seems to be focused on using symbolism.

"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."

To me the night is symbolic of peacefulness, or a peaceful atmosphere, or perhaps life itself. The rain symbolizes the hardships that a person faces throughout their lives. I think when he says "the furthest city light" he's trying to describe the way that he has pushed him self to see how far he could go, as if he was trying to accomplish something, and by outwalking the "furthest city light" he's demonstrating how he did just this.

"I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed the watchman on his beat"

Admittingly, I am still kind of unclear as to what Frost meant when he says "I have passed the watchman on his beat." Perhaps he's implying that the watchman's job is pointless, or that it is for the wrong cause? I really can't say. But the "saddest city lane" is yet another instance of symbolism within this story. The "saddest city lane" represents the people that he feels have it worse than he does, or even worse than anyone else. I don't think he was just talking about the city. I think the sadness he talks about refers to everyone in the world.

"And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain."

The fact that he says he's "unwilling" to explain instead of "unable" implies that talking about some of the horrible features of the "saddest city lane" brings him pain. In other words, he is aware that bad things happen in the world, but he'd rather not talk about them, because it only depresses him.

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

It is still unclear to me as to who's "feet" he's talking about, I'm assuming he's talking about his own feet. The interrupted cry most likely represents the bad things that happen in the town he's in.

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

In the first line of this stanza I think he's saying that he realizes that it is not up to him to solve other peoples problems, but the fact that he hears the cries shows that he still cares.

The last two lines involve the use of imagery. The "luminary clock against the sky... at an unearthly height," Frost is talking about the moon. The clock that he's talking about are the hours that the moon is out at night. "An unearthly height," is referring to an object in space, and because the moon is in space, and lights up the earth, it only proves that Frost was talking about the moon and its moonlight.

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

He says that the time that all of this happened was "neither wrong nor right," so he's probably talking about fate. It is kind of hard to explain:

He feels as if nothing that happened to him was pointless and that none of it had any meaning. It just was. I think this poem was written because a person (Robert Frost in this case) noticed something beautiful about nature and wanted to write about it and the feelings it gave to him. Perhaps he looked to the night as an escape from the chaos that life sometimes presents to us.

| Posted on 2005-05-04 | by Approved Guest




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