Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost are both very distinguished poets in America. Dickinson lived in the mid 1800s and was an introvert in Massachusetts for most of her life. Frost was alive in the 1900s and lived most of his life in Massachusetts. Even though both are from different points in history, they have similar themes of isolation and nature in the their writing. In Frost’s “Acquainted with the Night” and Dickinson’s “We grow Accustomed to the Dark” have to do with darkness and night. In most poetry the night is symbolic of the darker aspects of human nature. For all types of people darkness means something different. These authors each carry a unique view of the night through the personas of their poems as well as the applying imagery and structure.
Dickinson has strong imagery, distinct structure, and a point of view that presents the concern related to darkness. Starting with “we,” Dickinson allows the reader to share the same feeling of nervousness as the author by entering into the unknown that the darkness brings together. Darkness is something one must alter
to “grow accustomed to” (Dickinson 1). Darkness leaves the reader feeling “uncertain” in the beginning, but our uncertainty turns into bravery as Dickinson’s
tone modifies when our vision becomes “fit to the Dark.” When one alters themselves to the surroundings, we “meet the Road—erect”(Dickinson 8) just as we meet challenges of life-prepared. An innovator may “hit a Tree / Directly in the Forehead”(Dickinson 14-15) but the problem may be easy to overcome. Eventually, as “Darkness alters”(Dickinson 17) or “sight / Adjusts... / Life steps almost straight”(Dickinson 18-20). This change in attitude from nerves to inspiration helps aid the dashes which slows the pace of the wary changes that takes place. In Dickinson’s poem, darkness turns into something powerful by the end.
Frost is “acquainted with the night”(Frost 1), so other than providing nervousness, the darkness seems to bring a peaceful loneliness. The parallel structure of the first five lines in this poem emphasize life experiences of the author. Frost declares that he has “outwalked the furthest city light”(Frost 3) and in the darkness only the moon is at an “unearthly height”(Frost 11) that has become one with the nature around him. For Frost, the night is an oasis, the uninterrupted light, or being “wrong nor right”(Frost 13).
Both Dickinson and Frost chose to write their poems in first person, Dickinson choosing first person plural, while Frost wrote his poem in singularly. This helps to
make darkness seem more real. The use of first person in both poems communicates the feeling that darkness has touched both of the poets personally.
Frost uses “Acquainted with the Night” to express the darkness he has experienced, the tine is almost like a confession, though not necessarily guilt, as
evidenced in the poem. “Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. / I have been one acquainted with the...