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Extra info for Acquainted with the Night

Sample text

The speaker wants to let us know that the kinds of nights he's writing about are not just your average dark and lonely nights, but the darkest, the loneliest. Line 5 I have passed by the watchman on his beat The speaker has walked by the watchman, who is probably some sort of policeman or security guard. This is the only point in the poem where the speaker is in the physical presence of another person, even though he's in a city. Still, a policeman isn't the friendliest person to walk by on a dark, lonely night.

Usually this meter is iambic pentameter (check out our definition below). Why is blank verse so common in English? Well, a lot of people think we speak in it in our everyday conversations. ” That could be a blank verse line. Cadence: Cadence refers to the rhythmic or musical elements of a poem. You can think of it as the thing that makes poetry sound like poetry. Whereas “meter” refers to the regular elements of rhythm – the beats or accents – “cadence” refers to the momentary variations in rhythm, like when a line speeds up or slows down.

This line is creepy. We are so deep in the depths of this lonely night that there's nothing, not even a glimpse of a city light, to guide our way. Stanza 2 Line 4 I have looked down the saddest city lane. Here, the speaker is simply looking down a lane, or small street, that seems sad. Of course, we know that streets don't have feelings, but the speaker of this poem is so sad that even the street seems sad to him. We don't get any details about what makes this lane so sad. We can imagine that the houses are all boarded up, that there are no people there, or maybe the street is strewn with trash - but this is left up to us.

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