Poetry Plus – Acquainted with the Night – A poem by Robert Frost

© Samiran Sarkar, City Rainy Night

Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost

Rain in the City

Rain in the city
Night-time roams neath umbrellas
Distant siren sings

Robert Frost, (1874 – 1963), American poet who was much admired for his depictions of the rural life of New England, his command of American colloquial speech, and his realistic verse portraying ordinary people in everyday situations.

Frost first achieved professional publication in 1894 when The Independent, a weekly literary journal, printed his poem “My Butterfly: An Elegy.”

By 1911 Frost was fighting against discouragement. Poetry had always been considered a young person’s game, but Frost, who was nearly 40 years old, had not published a single book of poems and had seen just a handful appear in magazines.

In 1911 Frost inherited the farm where he lived. A momentous decision was made: to sell the farm and use the proceeds to make a radical new start in London, where publishers were perceived to be more receptive to new talent.

In 1912 the Frost family sailed across the Atlantic to England.

Frost carried with him sheaves of verses he had written but not been able to get into print. English publishers in London did indeed prove more receptive to innovative verse, and, through his own vigorous efforts and those of the expatriate American poet Ezra Pound, Frost within a year had published A Boy’s Will (1913). From this first book, such poems as “Storm Fear,” “The Tuft of Flowers,” and “Mowing” became standard anthology pieces.

A Boy’s Will was followed in 1914 by a second collection, North of Boston, that introduced some of the most popular poems in all of Frost’s work, among them “Mending Wall,” “The Death of the Hired Man,” “Home Burial,” and “After Apple-Picking.”

In London, Frost’s name was frequently mentioned by those who followed the course of modern literature, and soon American visitors were returning home with news of this unknown poet who was causing a sensation abroad.

The Boston poet Amy Lowell traveled to England in 1914, and in the bookstores there she encountered Frost’s work.

Taking his books home to America, Lowell then began a campaign to locate an American publisher for them, meanwhile writing her own laudatory review of North of Boston.

Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost

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,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. 
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Bio Reference Attribution https://www.britannica.com/biography/Robert-Frost

Photo Attribution © Ruohomaa/Black Star, Robert Frost, 1954

Source Attribution https://www.britannica.com/biography/Robert-Frost

Poem Attribution © Robert Frost, Acquainted with the Night

Source Attribution https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47548/acquainted-with-the-night

Haiku Attribution Goff James, Rain in the City

Copyright (c) 2021 Goff James – All Rights Reserved 

View more haiku poems by Goff James

Painting Attribution © Samiran Sarkar, City Rainy Night, (Date Unstated)

Source Attribution https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-City-Rainy-Night/4169/3506711/view

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