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Acquainted with the Night

Acquainted with the Night

by Robert Frost

Distance

Symbol Analysis

From the city lights, to the cry, to the moon, a lot of the imagery in this poem is far away and distant. This physical distance creates a metaphor for the speaker's psychological distance. So, in addition to being lonely, the speaker feels like he is disconnected and far away. This can't be very helpful for his loneliness or depression.

  • Line 3: This line introduces the metaphor of distance in the poem – the speaker has passed the furthest city light. Note that, by walking, the speaker has created this distance himself.
  • Lines 8-9: The cry comes from far away, continuing the distance metaphor. Even though we are in a city, which is much more condensed than the countryside, this human noise is distant and distorted. The city even creates this distance and distortion – the cry is interrupted because it comes over houses.
  • Line 11: The moon is the most distant image in this poem. It is at an "unearthly height." Perhaps, the speaker feels so distant from other humans that he himself feels a little unearthly.

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