Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost Essay

Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost Essay

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The solitude of a rainy nighttime walk invokes thoughts of sadness and isolation, in Robert Frost’s poem “Acquainted with the Night.” A short narrative poem has the speaker describing a lonely walk during the nighttime hours in a city setting. The poem is very dark in many aspects, the mood, the night, and the visual and audible observations of the walker. There are thoughts and feelings of loneliness and despair, when reading this poem. The impression of the poem is one of a lost soul who has had a possible tragic event in his life or is living unsatisfactory life. The walk in the night and its surroundings are reflections on his solitary soul.
The style of the poem is a sonnet; the language used in the poem is clear and simple. The poet Frost tells a story in easy to read form. There is repetition throughout the poem. For example; “”I have been”, I have walked out in rain,” I have out walked””, (Frost 1-2-3). There is a comparison within the poem, a night watchman (the only person mentioned) in the poem and the walker. Frost draws the comparison of them both being alone at night, with the night watchman one walking with purpose, whereas the walker’s purpose is not defined.
The mood of the poem is one of brooding and sorrow, along with loneliness from stance 2, line 1“I have looked down the saddest city lane” (Frost 4). The mood of sorrow reflected in the poem by the previous line could be a visual description of closed up shops or rundown buildings looking worse for wear in the nighttime, deserted, and empty; it must be bad as it is not just sad but described as saddest. No mention of persons around the city lane, which adds to the solitude and emptiness of the night. The brooding by the speaker gives way to melancholy, as he...


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... alone at night. Although not mentioned in poem, there is an overture of a burden or “sigh” by the speakers tone. The symbolism of the night conveys a sense of fear. There is no feeling within the poem that the speaker finds any solace in the walk or with the conditions of the night; darkness, rain, silence, solitude are all that is found. The poem conjures up the fear that is felt when in darkness be it the actual darkness of a street, or the darkness in thought. Most people are able to picture the fear that is of the walker in the poem as who has not been in that situation in life. We walk alone at times even when we are surrounded by a bustling world with our inner thoughts and fears affecting us in darkness and light.




Works Cited

Frost, Robert. ”Acquainted with the Night.” Literature to Go. Ed. Michael Meyer. Boston: Bedford/ St Martin’s, 2011. 429. Print

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