Being Acquainted With The Night, And Being Acquainted With Death

Being Acquainted With The Night, And Being Acquainted With Death

The narrator is still someone who is "acquainted with the night," someone who is ready for death, no matter when or how it comes. He is at peace in ways that I even envy, in ways that allow him to live freely, one day at a time, not worrying about what tomorrow and the future hold.


"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."

In this article, I will unpack and apply another Robert Frost classic, "Acquainted with the Night." It is one of the saddest Robert Frost poems, one that is very often interpreted to deal with issues like depression and suicide. "I have been one acquainted with the night," indicates a person familiar with the night's darkness, of having a lack of light present in their lives. The sun may also rise, but at the end of the day, darkness and the night will win. The night means death, and is an acknowledgment that all of us will one day die, and be acquainted with the night. To be acquainted with the night means to be acquainted with death.

The narrator next says that "I have walked out in rain - and back in rain," suggesting that he has been through a fair deal of horror in his life. Chilly detached, he has found darkness, and perpetual darkness almost everywhere he goes, almost numbed to the "furthest city light." The narrator's adverse circumstances show that any further circumstance means nothing to him, that he has been through so much that he is numb, and almost immune to anything else that may phase him. He is at peace, much more so than any person we know.

"I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain."

The narrator further compounds upon his weary peace, that he has been through "the saddest city lane." Emotions like guilt and shame are pervasive in his mind, as any person he walks past, like the watchman, is "unwilling to explain" these emotions. He drops his eyes constantly, staring down at the ground that there are no explanations for the situation or behavior that the narrator finds himself in.

"I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,"

It may be a misinterpretation, but I read that the narrator is somewhat of a pariah, a person that stops the sound of feet when he passes people by. He has been through some obscene tragedy that others cannot possibly comprehend, and thus try to avoid. I read him almost like protagonist Lee Chandler in Manchester by the Sea, who witnesses and is partially responsible for his two children dying in a house fire.

There is a voice that beckons at the narrator, that transcends houses and distance. The voice is a cry, that has strong emotion behind the urge, even if we don't know what it says. The voice doesn't want the narrator to take his life or just die. He is one acquainted with the night. He lives as if he's already dead.

"But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky"

The voice doesn't tell the narrator to change anything, for the voice does not "call me back or say good-bye." It is a voice that urges the narrator to press on and keep living with the status quo, as painful as it may be, and as much as the narrator himself may not want to keep on going on.

The luminary clock against the sky is the only light we see in this poem, the only light in the middle of the night. It is almost holy or biblical, what the narrator looks to for guidance, as it isn't of the Earth. It is at an unearthly height, symbolizing almost heaven, but to say so is a stretch. The final two lines proceed like this:

"Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.

I have been one acquainted with the night.

The world of the luminary clock at the unearthly height beckon at the narrator, but not yet. Maybe he could go to it, because the time is not wrong. But it's also not right, and that may mean that Robert Frost meant to impart a message that death never happens at a wrong time, nor a right time. It happens arbitrarily, when we expect it least.

The narrator is still someone who is "acquainted with the night," someone who is ready for death, no matter when or how it comes. He is at peace in ways that I even envy, in ways that allow him to live freely, one day at a time, not worrying about what tomorrow and the future hold. And so I say that I, too am one acquainted with the night. And that gives me the freedom to live without fear, with hope.

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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