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诗歌赏析:Robert Frost's Acquainted With the Night  

2011-04-23 14:12:28|  分类: 诗歌欣赏 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Robert Frost's Acquainted With the Night

Imagery, Themes, and Meaning in Frost’s Poem

Tweet Jun 8, 2009

Jeris Swanhorst

 The dark, lonely imagery of "Acquainted with the Night" illustrates the feelings of the poem's speaker.

 Although it takes place in a different setting than many of Frost’s other poems, “Acquainted with the Night” is still characteristic of Frost. The setting is used to reflect the feelings of the speaker of the poem, just as Frost’s nature poems are known to do.

 Darkness and Isolation – The First Stanza

The first stanza introduces the speaker’s feelings of loneliness and isolation through the imagery of the setting. The speaker is one who is familiar with the night, strolling through the streets in the rain. Not only are these cold, dark images, but the speaker says, “I have outwalked the furthest city light,” enforcing the fact that the speaker is distanced from the rest of the city, as well. 

While Frost tends to write about individuals out in nature, the middle of a forest, perhaps, here he has placed his speaker in a city, a place that is populated by many other people. However, the loneliness his speaker feels is not lessened by the increase in population. This speaker still feels alienated from society, despite being in a city; in fact, the speaker sets out to be removed from others, walking out past the city limits.

 Alone, Even Around Others – The Second Stanza

The speaker’s despair intensifies in the second stanza. The speaker “looked down the saddest city lane,” indicating that the city has taken on a melancholy feel for the speaker. Then, crossing paths with a watchman, the speaker avoids his gaze, “unwilling to explain.” In other words, rather than engage in communication with the watchman, the speaker would prefer to remain silent, isolated from others. The word “unwilling” suggests the speaker’s choice to avoid interaction.

 Distant Imagery – The Third and Fourth Stanzas

In the third stanza, the speaker hears a “cry” from a distant street. In the fourth stanza the speaker explains it “was not to call me back or say goodbye.” In other words, the speaker hears a person calling out to someone, but not to the speaker. The speaker is implying that either there was no one concerned with the speaker’s whereabouts, or, if there was, that person didn’t call out to the speaker.

 The fourth stanza also introduces the image of the moon. The moon is extremely far away, but the speaker can see it in the distance. It is a reminder of the time, since the speaker uses the metaphor of a clock to describe it, “one luminary clock against the sky.” Perhaps it is a reminder of the time of night it is, an odd hour to be wandering the streets alone.

 The Couplet

Rather than shift from the darkness and despair of the previous stanzas, as sonnets tend to do in the couplet, Frost’s poem remains bleak. The moon image is continued in the first line of the couplet, and it leads into the final line of the poem, “I have been one acquainted with the night,” a word-for-word repetition of the poem’s first line. This suggests that the one thing the speaker knows for certain is the loneliness of a sleepless night.

 Although this poem does not fit in with the nature theme so often commented upon in Frost’s poetry, it does operate the same way as other Frost poems do. The surroundings of the speaker are used to reflect the speaker’s feelings. In this poem the night’s darkness, rain, and the speaker’s lack of connection to those surroundings develop the themes of isolation and despair that carry through the poem.

转自:http://www.suite101.com/content/robert-frosts-acquainted-with-the-night-a123611 

 

音频:http://silence3399.music.hexun.com/M6052266.html

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,

A luminary clock against the sky

 

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.

I have been one acquainted with the night.

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