Acquainted With the Night
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.
Read the poem “Acquainted With the Night” included in this module, then answer the
INSTRUCTOR’S INTRODUCTION TO THE POEM: This is the second of the Frost
poems. If you remember, Frost likes to play with duality. In this case, the outside
represents the inside. “Acquainted With the Night” is a poem about depression.
Everything that takes place in this poem does so in the poet’s head. He is not Literally
taking a walk through a city; he is Figuratively taking a walk in his own mind. “Night” in
this poem represents Depression, so another way the title can be put is: “Acquainted
With Depression.” So with this in mind, as you answer the questions, keep in mind that
eveything mentioned in the poem is an aspect of depression in the poet’s head.
QUESTION 1 What did you think about the poem as a reader
QUESTION 2 “Rain” is a metaphor. What does the poet mean when he says
he “has walked out in rain and back in rain” Be sure to explain your answer well.
QUESTION 3 “Light” is a metaphor. What does the poet mean when he says
“I’ve out-walked the furthest city light” Be sure to explain your answer well.
QUESTION 4 What does the poet mean when he says “I’ve looked down the
saddest city lane” Be sure to explain your answer well.
QUESTION 5 Given that the city represents the poet’s mind, what is the
“watchman on his beat” and why does the poet feel that he has to “drop his eyes” when
passing it Be sure to explain your answer well.
QUESTION 6 Explain what the “interrupted cry…but not to call me back or
say goodbye” means Could this be the reason for his depression Explain your answer
QUESTION 7 What is the luminary clock at an unearthly height that
proclaims the time is neither wrong nor right If the poet was taking a literal walk
outside, it represents the moon. But the poet is taking a “figurative” walk inside his mind,
so metaphorically speaking, what is this luminary clock Look up the definition of
“luminary” if it helps, but make sure that you are using the correct definition with regard
to the theme (Depression) of the poem. Provide a thorough answer.
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