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Additional resources for Acquainted with the Night
The mood of the night is so sad that even the city streets seem sad - does the speaker think that nature is sad also? and the natural universe. Yet calling the moon a "luminary clock" shows that, while the speaker is probably looking at the sky, he has city images and terminology in his head. Does the speaker think the sky and the moon are beautiful even though, as we find out in the last stanza, the time that the moon proclaims is neither wrong nor right? Time We're not sure about the timeline of "Acquainted with the Night," but the repetition of the phrase "I have been" seems to signal that the poem speaks about multiple repeated nights, which all took place in the past.
Cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat . ” Kind of weird, right? Well, guess what: you just made poetry out of a single word – that is, you turned the word into an experience that is as much about sound as it is about sense. Congratulations, poet! Or let's imagine that you type the words “blue” and “ocean” on a page all by their lonesome selves. These two little words are quite ordinary and pop up in conversations all the time. However, when we see them isolated, all alone on a page, they might just take on a whole new meaning.
Just not too loud, or you’ll get mall security on your case. Be Patient. You can’t really understand a poem that you’ve only read once. You just can’t. So if you don’t get it, set the poem aside and come back to it later. And by “later” we mean days, months, or even years. Don’t rush it. It’s a much bigger accomplishment to actually enjoy a poem than it is to be able to explain every line of it. Treat the first reading as an investment – your effort might not pay off until well into the future, but when it does, it will totally be worth it.