"Acquainted with the Night" is a poem written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Frost and first published in 1927. One of Frost's most celebrated poems, "Acquainted with the Night" is an exploration of isolation, sorrow, and despair—emotions that feel as inescapable as the night itself. These emotions, Frost suggests, are not unique to the speaker of his poem, but rather a universal part of the human experience. Though a sonnet, the poem is not a traditional Italian or English sonnet.
I have been ...
... back in rain.
I have outwalked ...
... saddest city lane.
I have passed ...
... unwilling to explain.
I have stood ...
... an interrupted cry
Came over houses ...
... or say good-bye;
And further still ...
... against the sky
Proclaimed the time ...
... with the night.
Select any word below to get its definition in the context of the poem. The words are listed in the order in which they appear in the poem.
"Acquainted with the Night" Read Aloud — Listen to author Robert Frost read his entire poem.
"Acquainted with the Night" Music Video — Listen to and watch an original music video adaptation of the poem.
"Acquainted with the Night" Musical Adaptation — Listen to a musical adaptation of the poem.
"Acquainted with the Night" Art Exhibit — Read about artist Howard Hodgkin's exhibit titled "Acquainted with the Night" and learn about Frost's influence on a contemporary artist.
Acquainted With the Night: How Whistler’s Nocturnes Changed America — Read about the connection between James Abbott McNeill Whistler's paintings and "Acquainted with the Night."
1I have been one acquainted with the night.
2I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
3I have outwalked the furthest city light.
4I have looked down the saddest city lane.
5I have passed by the watchman on his beat
6And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
7I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
8When far away an interrupted cry
9Came over houses from another street,
10But not to call me back or say good-bye;
11And further still at an unearthly height,
12One luminary clock against the sky
13Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
14I have been one acquainted with the night.