Study Guide

Acquainted with the Night What's Up With the Title?

By Robert Frost

What's Up With the Title?

We hear the phrase "acquainted with the night" three times in this poem – and it's in the three most important places: the title, the first line, and the last line. OK, Frost, we get it – the phrase "acquainted with the night" is important!

But the title is only a part of the first and last lines, leaving out the "I have been one." So, in a way, each time we hear the phrase "acquainted with the night," we hear it differently. In the title, we don't know the context. In the first line, we get a little more context, even if it's only the information that "I have been one." Then, by the last line, we get a different and more complete meaning of what it means to be acquainted with the night, and can imagine the entire scene of the poem – the rain, the city, the moon – when we glance back at the title. Now, instead of thinking that the title is just a cool sounding phrase, we know what it means, and can connect it to both the meaning of the poem and our own acquaintances with the night.

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