Guest poem submitted by Srihari Sukumaran:
(Poem #1564) 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.
When I saw the list of Robert Frost's poems in Minstrels with yesterday's poem (Poem # 1552 -- now more than a day old -- ed.) I realised that one of my favourite Frost poems is not on Minstrels. Hence this contribution. The first thing I liked about this poem when I read it (as is the case with most of Frost's poems) is its rhythm and sound. There is a very regular 'beat' about it. The rhyme scheme is 'aba bcb cdc dad aa' (which Google tells me is the terza rima). Unusually for a Frost poem, this one is set in a city, which probably makes it not very surprising that the theme is loneliness and homelessness. A sense of loneliness permeates the entire poem -- especially the second, third and fourth verses. Even time seems indifferent to the speaker -- the "luminary clock against the sky [the moon?] / Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right". The poem begins and ends with "I have been one acquainted...". At the first occurrence there is, I think, a feeling of 'energy' or 'endeavour' - something positive conveyed in the second and third lines. But the end of the poem the overwhelming feeling one gets is that of loneliness and even despondency. Srihari. Ps. I hope the above makes sense; I haven't written some thing like this in over 10 years.