The Difference Between "Night" and "Day".
Robert Frost's "Acquainted with the Night" is not a traditional sonnet in form or theme in comparison to Shakespeare's "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" "Acquainted with the Night" is designated as a sonnet because it is a fourteen-line poem. The only traditional asset of this sonnet is that it is written in iambic pentameter, with accents falling on every second syllable, in lines ten syllables long as in: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" Every other aspect of "Acquainted with the Night" is untraditional. Frost's sonnet differs from the traditional Shakespearean sonnet in rhyme scheme, formation of ideas, tone, and theme. .
In "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" the form is divided into three quatrains and a couplet. The rhyme scheme of the three quatrains is ABAB, and the last two lines of the couplet have the rhyme scheme CC. The last quatrain and the couplet of "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" demonstrates this in lines 9-14:.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade.
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;.
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,.
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,.
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Frost's "Acquainted with the Night," is written in Terza rima, which means the second line of each stanza rhymes with the first and third lines of the next stanza, shown in lines7-12: .
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet.
When far away an interrupted cry.
Came over houses from another street.
But not to call me back or say good-by;.
And further still at an unearthly height,.
One luminary clock against the sky.
Frost does not write in traditional form because it would change the tone and theme of his sonnet.
"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" has a lyrical tone. The sonnet could be appropriate for singing because of its melodic flow and theme.