Poems of the Dark

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The poems "Wild Nights – Wild Nights," "Death Be Not Proud," "Acquainted with the Night," "As I Consider How My Light Is Expended," "Singapore," and "Open Letter to the South" explore various facets of human tribulations. The usage of gloom is a metaphor for man's trials and tribulations. The main subject of the piece of literature is man's tribulations.

In conclusion: What and who did you do? Learn this.

Emily Dickinson wrote the poem "Wild Nights – Wild Nights." It was first published in the United States in 1891. The poem's persona expresses his thoughts about the night. Secondly, the poem “Death Be Not Proud”, written by John Donne, captures the theme of darkness. It was first published in Songs and Sonnets in 1633. “Acquainted with the Night” was written by Robert Frost. It captures the story of depression that the persona feels. The poem was first published in the Virginia Quarterly Review in 1927. “When I Consider How my Light Is Spent” was written by John Milton. It is a sonnet which captures the tribulations of the persona in life. It was first published in Milton’s 1673 poems. “Open Letter to the South” was written by Langston Hughes. It explores the need for the emancipation of the Black man from the shackles of slavery. Lastly, “Singapore” was written by Mary Oliver. It captures the tribulations of a woman who works as a cleaner at the airport in Singapore. It was first published in 1937.

Gut Reactions to the Works

The first impression that I had of the works was that they were complicated and abstract. In poems such as “Death be Not Proud”, I felt that the author had used an excessively decorative language and thus rendered the poem indescribable. However, with time and analysis, I inferred deeper meaning from the poems. The poems explore the daily challenges that man faces and the darkness that sometimes beleaguers our souls.


The main point of connection relates to the underlying themes of the poem. All of them address specific challenges of man and desires for elements that they are not allowed as a result of impeding circumstances. Whereas, some, such as the “Wild Nights – Wild Nights” engage the literal definition of the night, all of them allude to the absence of happiness as a result of darkness.


The idea of unity in freedom is alluded to in the poem “Open Letter to the South”. The author hopes to capture the need for liberation and freedom of the soul. Hughes says “Let us forget what Booker T. said: Separate as the fingers”. The idea of shackles is also alluded to in the poems by Mary Oliver and John Donne. Mary Oliver indicates that “This probably won’t’ happen” to describe the improbability of change with regards to the woman in the poem. Overall, the poems capture an essence of imprisonment. The personas are mainly prisoners to some component of life. These components are manifested both internally and externally.

Difficult to accept or challenging about the work

I found it hard to infer meaning from the texts. Principally, my inability to understand the concepts was a result of the employ of advanced language by some of the poets. I was however surprised that one can infer several contradictory themes from one poem.

Best Terms

The first term includes “the time-clock” in the poem by Langston Hughes because it alludes to death. The second term is “dost” in the poem by John Donne because it preforms the same role as the word “do” and the last term constitutes “acquainted” in the poem by Robert Frost because it tries to establish the possibility of relations between living and non-living things.

What do the readings remind you of?

The readings remind me of the novel “The Great Gatsby”. Essentially, despite his outward projection of hope, deep down Gatsby was suffering for years because of Daisy. In the end, he succumbs to the clutches of death.

Which of the readings was the best?

I feel that the poem “Acquainted with the Night” was the best read. I would recommend the poem to my friend because it is both captavitaing and uses simple language to communicate the message in the poem.

July 29, 2022


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