A Comparison: Frosts Acquainted With The Night And Essay, Research Paper
A Comparison: Frost’s “Acquainted with the Night” and
Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”
These two poems about the night are full of intense emotion. And it is easily said that these two poets offer easily accessible emotion in their verse. For Frost his emotion was attainable because he didn’t fill his life with what he considered mundane challenges. “The most pronounced instance where my life was influenced by this instinct was when I gave up my work at Harvard”, says Frost. The structure of school made Frost feel restrained he could not do things because they had to be done. In his life as in his poetry, Frost relied on the natural flow of things to control him.
Dylan Thomas’ emotion could at times be erratic. He used to say, of his poems; they could be read either softly or loudly. Talk about two opposite ends of the spectrum. Thomas poems where a very real part of him. “I let, perhaps, an image be ‘made’ emotionally in me and then apply to it what intellectual and critical forces I possess…”
Possession of intellectual, critical and emotional forces is what these two poems contain. Yet, they are done in a different way. Frost’s is in a natural narrative voice reading softly and Thomas’ dares to speak loudly of bold resistance. These two poems use the same reference of the night to create opposite feelings, which lead to the same effect, raw emotion.
The overall feel of “Acquainted…” is softly spoken. The narrator, “walks in the rain-and back” then looks,” down the saddest city lane. There isn’t any indication of noise surrounding him in these endeavors. The mood is kept mellow. The softest point in the poem is when he, “stood still and stopped the sound of feet”. At this point all things stop. It’s almost as if some heavy contemplation is going on for the narrator.
“Rage, Rage”, cries Thomas’ narrator in “Do not go…” Right away this poem does not indicate a docile feeling nor does it speak quietly. I’ve never seen someone rage in quiet. So like his earlier indication about his poems this is one that’s read loudly. There’s also a sense of struggle when asked to “not go gentle into that good night”. This poem is filled with activity as we see, “Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight”.
Even though the night is a similar subject in these poems, the way it is approached is very different. ” I have been one acquainted with the night”, says Frost. It’s as if his mood is calmed by this darkness as he walks to “the furthest city light”. The night is his solitude and a type of disguise when he walks “by the watchman on his beat”, where he promptly dropped his “eyes, unwilling to explain”. For Thomas it’s time to “rage against the dying of the light”. Even though “wise men at their end know dark is right”. As if to convince someone this line is chanted throughout the poem, “do not go gentle into that good night”.
There is unwillingness, in opposition to Frost’s poem, to be part of the night. There are some indication’s that the night according to Thomas’ poem is really death or dying. We see an image of old people near death, “who see with blinding sight”, or no sight at all. In the night there is no light
Where a similar subject, the night, in the poems is really different, what are alike is a couple things that match item for item, Imagery. Standing still, Frosts narrator, hears a “far away” cry that comes “over the houses from another street” Just picture that voice carrying so far, and for what? Thomas’ imagery is just as stark, looking in the faces of the people the narrator sees, “blind eyes (that) blaze like meteors”. Wise men in this poem have no choice about the night because “their words had forked no lightning”. It’s the careful imagery in both poems that really helps convey emotion.
Rhythm in both poems exists heavily. The rhyming scheme in “Acquainted…” starts with the last word of the first and third lines. There’s a type of word play scheme in Thomas’, “Do not go…” And it may all be leading to the narrator’s father. But he describes the type of person he is alluding to, at the end of his rhyming scheme. A Good man, Wild man and Grave man all must either rage against the light or not go gentle into the night. But the last man is his father who he asks to do both.
The narrator in “acquainted…” has a question about time. And it’s the voice so far away, which initiates this contemplation that “the time was neither wrong nor right”. But his point seems to be, as he chants through his poem, “I have been one acquainted with the night.
Two men talking about the night. One speaks about it as an acquaintance, the other loathes its association with death. A strong emotion can be felt in both, only one is soft emotion and the other loud emotion. It could be that these two poems mirror the poet a little. Thomas was an alcoholic and prone to loud tirades. Frost was a delightful personality, frank, straightforward, and
Honest. There’s no doubt though, that whatever the personality of these two poets, a life force of thought was so strong that it came through in words whenever they touched pen to paper.