Acquainted with the Night Summary
The speaker announces their acquaintance with the night. It was raining when the speaker started walking across town, and it was still raining at the end of the walk. During the walk, the speaker also went beyond the light outside the city.
The speaker stared at the most secluded city street. The speaker was also a guard who was patrolling the city. The speaker, however, looked down to avoid eye contact with the guard, not wanting to talk about the reasons behind the speaker walking at night.
As he walked, the speaker moved away, stopping at the sound of broken cries. The sound of these other people’s voices echoed from house to house on different streets.
However, the voice did not call the speaker to return or say goodbye to the speaker. Further away and higher, the moon shines like a bright clock in the sky.
This metaphorical clock declares that time is neither wrong nor right. The speaker again said that they are familiar with the night.
“Familiar with the night”, the speaker describes the lonely night out in town. During this aimless wandering, the speaker deals with frustration and sadness. In fact the speaker’s emotions are so strong that they keep the speaker in isolation and prevent the speaker from talking or communicating with others. The poem thus signifies a link between these states: frustration leads to isolation and, in contrast, creates a self-sustaining cycle. The poem elaborates further on how isolation, sadness and despair can feel inevitable, like walking through an endless night.
Acquainted with the Night Themes
The physical description of the city at night reflects the mood of the speaker. The speaker is “familiar with the night”. The night is usually associated with darkness, which in turn is associated with misery and despair. Thus, the speaker’s acquaintance with “night” also symbolizes the speaker’s acquaintance with these particular emotions. Furthermore, in order to understand the poem that the disconnection has spread, the “familiar” is ironically used to mean that the disconnection itself is the only thing that is connected to the speaker, in addition, the speaker starts and ends this rain “rain”. Rainfall is often associated with grief, rainwater often represents human tears. Thus, the physical precipitation surrounding the speaker is a reflection of the speaker’s grief.
As the speaker moves, the darkness and sorrow all around become more intense. The speaker even walks beyond the “distant city light”, thus plunging into more physical darkness. In a similar vein, the speaker identifies them as “the most alleys in the city” which he sees as the “most sorry”. Superlative – The use of “farthest” and “most tragic” reflects the height of the speaker’s emotions Indeed indeed the speaker’s frustration and grief never ends; Although the speaker continues to walk, the speaker does not actually go anywhere on the speaker metaphor and on the emotional level, this feeling of despair and sadness is as inevitable as night.
What’s more, the speaker’s feelings of sadness and frustration prevent the speaker from finding comfort in any companionship and protect the state of isolation. The speaker deliberately exceeds the “farthest city light” and thus is on the outskirts of the city. That way no one else is likely to face the speaker. However, when the speaker encounters a “guard” patrolling the city, the speaker refuses to make eye contact or speak to him. Then, the speaker hears another human voice “from a distance”. The distance and darkness make it impossible for the speaker to identify the owner of the voice. In addition, the voice “does not return or say goodbye to [speaker]”; Neither the speaker nor the other voice can connect to each other. So, although the speaker has been teased with the opportunity of human connection, the inability of the speaker to make that connection only reinforces the speaker’s isolation.
As a result, the speaker’s footsteps do not provide the comfort or solution that the speaker seeks. Rather the speaker stays in the same position as the start. The speaker is looking up at the sky for some sort of answer. However, the moon, which shows the speaker as a “luminary clock,” tells them that “time [time] is neither wrong nor right.” The speaker reiterates that they are “familiar with the night”, making it clear that the speaker’s isolation, grief and frustration have not diminished or even changed.
Moreover, the word “one” suggests that the speaker is “one” among many who are similarly familiar with this particular feeling. And indeed, the self-perpetuating cycle of speaker isolation and frustration exists beyond a specific cause or explanation; The reader can never find out why the speaker is so sorry. While the speaker’s suffering is not as unique, the poem says that isolation, grief and despair are inherent in the human experience.Acquainted with the Night Acquainted with the Night Acquainted with the Night Acquainted with the Night Acquainted with the Night Acquainted with the Night