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Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost


Acquainted with the Night is a famous poem written by Robert Frost. It was first published in the magazine Virginia Quarterly Review in 1927 and later in 1928 in West-Running Brook. This poem was written with so many figures of speech such as personification, imagery etc . . . that reflects with uninspiring wayfaring through the city at night. This poem represents the theme of sadness, isolation and hesitation thus the word “acquainted” plays a major role as it represents connection here. Isolation is a sense of being separated from others physically including emotionally, socially and mentally which leads individuals to develop anxiety and depression. Humans are social animals who need human contact to thrive and sometimes even to survive. As Robert has gone through lots of loss and stress, he wrote this poetry. Let’s see the comparison of isolated experiences of the speaker in this poem.


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.


The speaker is walking alone in the rain. Thus, he compares his life’s darkness with the night around him. He says that, he has a connection with the night (feeling of melancholy) by wayfaring in rain across the cityI have walked out in rain—and back in rain”. He moves beyond the city lights that is in the greater extent. He glances down one of the narrow road in the saddest countryside. As he passes by a watchman who goes along the street, he avoids eye contact with him because he can’t explain his reason for this lonely walk around the city.

Later, he stops by the side to stop the sound of his feet without moving. As he keenly listens, he hears broken cry from the far-off houses from another street. That voice didn’t ask the Poet to come back or did good riddance as a farewell.

Finally , the Poet metaphorically represents moon as “One luminary clock against the sky” which is in distance with brightness. This moon (clock) declares time as neither right nor wrong. The poet finishes this poem by repeating the same first line, in order to emphasis the importance, “I have been one acquainted with the night


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