”I have been one acquainted with the night.”
Just that first line gives me that chills. “Acquainted with the night” by Robert Frost is my favorite poem. I would never be able to pinpoint a novel as my favorite, but since I first heard this poem at the age of 10, I have loved it, felt it, and even lived it as times.
Did you notice I heard it the first time? Remember the 1980s series of Beauty and the Beast starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman? My father gave me the soundtrack to the series, and it consists of these beautiful instrumental pieces and Ron Perlman reading sonnets and poems. His voice is amazing! I believe I know all the featured sonnets and poems by heart, but “Acquainted with the night” was special for me.
The first image is a person, walking through the city streets at night – alone. The loneliness of the poem is exquisite; it is a defensive maneuver and an observant retreat at the same time. By adding time to the equation, the poem is about loneliness as a vacuum, where time is neither wrong nor right.
All the teenage angst and brooding, that – for me – lasted through my teens and twenties is somehow included in this single poem. The poem doesn’t include a silver lining of any sort, but I have always read this poem with a smile and a sense of solace. There is a calmness in being acquainted with the night, knowing yourself in your darknesses, and realizing that no night lasts forever.