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Extra info for Acquainted with the Night

Example text

While this clock could just be a big clock tower in the city, the speaker tells us that this clock is luminary, and that it's at an "unearthly" height. These are big clues that this clock is not actually a clock. Remember, our speaker is acquainted with the night. While this clock at an unearthly height is a little spooky, it's also beautiful, and gives us light beyond the farthest city lights. The moon is distant and dreamlike. Stanza 5 Line 13 Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. So now we find out what time the clock (or the moon) "proclaims" (says) it is.

But "neither wrong nor right" is no time we've ever seen on a clock before. Or maybe the speaker feels like, no matter what time it is, it's neither wrong nor right. He's acquainted with the night, so he's used to this dark, creepy loneliness, but he doesn't like it very much, either. The moon is proclaiming the time, not just showing or saying it. The moon is making this limbo between wrong and right pretty obvious. Line 14 I have been one acquainted with the night. The speaker cuts the poem short here, with a two-line stanza, breaking from the rhyme scheme and form of the rest of the poem.

Aside from its demands on your attention, there’s nothing too tricky about reading a poem. Like anything, it’s a matter of practice. But in case you haven’t read much (or any) poetry before, we’ve put together a short list of tips that will make it a whole lot more enjoyable. Follow Your Ears. ” when reading a poem. ” If all else fails, treat it like a song. Even if you can’t understand a single thing about a poem’s “subject” or “theme,” you can always say something – anything – about the sound of the words.

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