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Robert Frost (1874-1963), the twentieth century American poet, is not only one of the country's most popular poets but one of its most honored. Not only is he the most frequently quoted poet in the United States but at the inauguration of President Kennedy in 1961, recited one of his poems as part of the ceremony (Thompson, pp…
The implication here is, and as clearly evidenced in his sonnet "Acquainted with the Night," that Frost's poems have a subjective emotional impact upon the readers as the way in which they expose the poet's own innermost feelings arouse both empathy and sympathy.
"Acquainted with the Night" is comprised of fifteen complete sentences, divided into four stanzas and a concluding rhyming couplet. Each stanza consists of three lines, in the A-B-A rhyming pattern, with the exception of the first which follows the A-A-B rhyming scheme. The phrase "I have" dominates the first three stanzas. It begins all three sentences in the first, two in the second and one in the third. It is interesting to note here that there is a reversal of order in that the quoted phrase is present once in the third stanza but three times in the first. What this indicates, according to the literary scholar, Sheldon Liebman, is a descent into both acceptance and the night atmosphere (pp. 419-420). That means to say, the fading of the refrain implies both that, by the third stanza, the embrace (not just acquaintance) of the night is so complete and so obvious that it needs no verbal reiteration and that the poet has accepted the night.
The sonnet commences with the repetition of the title, serving to emphasize both the ...
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