Comparing Emily Dickinson's 'We Grow Accustomed to the Dark' and Robert Frost's 'Acquainted with the Night'
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In Emily Dickenson's "We Grow Accustomed to the Dark," and in Robert Frost's "Acquainted with the Night," the poets use imagery of darkness. The two poems share much in common in terms of structure, theme, imagery, and motif. Both poems are five stanzas long: brief and poignant. The central concepts of being "accustomed" to something, and being "acquainted" with something convey a sense of familiarity. However, there are core differences in the ways Dickenson and Frost craft their poems. Although both Dickenson and Frost write about darkness, they do so with different points of view, imagery, and structure.
Both poems are five stanzas in length, but Dickenson's stanzas are five lines each. Frost's are three lines each. The shorter poem is more lighthearted in tone. Dickenson's poem includes lines of either six or eight syllables each; Frost's are usually ten syllables in each line. Dickenson's metric structure conveys a greater sense of anxiety than does Frost's. Her frequent use of hyphenations suggests that the speaker is not saying everything on her mind. Dickenson embeds pauses in the poem at moments that are purposeful, and yet uncomfortable. Frost's poem is more lighthearted. Frost starts several lines with the same word: the first three lines all start with "I." Dickenson does not start any two lines with the same word. The only time Frost uses hyphenation is in the first stanza, and the effect is different from Dickenson's because the speaker simply states, "I have