Wednesday, January 7, 2009

External Form #1: 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,
O luminary clock against the sky

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

This poem uses the terza rima rhyme scheme like in Dante's, The Divine Comedy. The repetition of the beginning stanza's "I have" creates the authors tone of true factual statements. I thought the poems title suggests night to be dark and scary simply because of the phrasing of it "Acquainted with the Night". The word "acquainted" isn't as warm and inviting as "meet" or "became bffls with" (But this is just my opinion). After reading the poem a couple times I thought Frost used the night as an allusion for his inner soul or conscience. He lists the different directions he has traveled "in the night" and his reactions, metaphorically relating these paths to different tests of his soul, that he has endured. The "night" i felt was the ultimate metaphor for the strange and unpredictable ways of life. (Also literal, the night is dark, you can't see what's coming at you and in life you can't predict what's going to happen). I liked this poem because of its use of terza rima and its overall meaning towards a wandering soul.

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