National Poetry Month Day 5: Acquainted with the Night

April 5, 2014

Missed Day 4, but here’s one for Day 5: Robert Frost’s “Acquainted with the Night” has always resonated with me for several reasons. Like many poets, I walk frequently, often at night, trying to burn out, push through, or just dwell with an unsettling aura of melancholia. And if you pass by, I’m not going to explain. I didn’t have a luminary clock against the sky to deepen that gray not wrong/not rightness, but when I was young, there was a red cross that glowed on the hill across the river. Now that the weather’s getting warmer, I hope the long walks will be less broody.

acquainted with the night


“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,
One luminary clock against the sky

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