Everyone has felt lonely at one time or another, regardless of their magnitude of wealth, size of family, extension of the friendship circle, or position in a crowd. It crawls on your skin like a shadow, quickly making it's way into your heart. Once you have experienced this alienation you will never forget it, and you can never adequately explain the depth of it. Actually, there are some gifted poets who can express what seems too big for words. Robert Frost's Acquainted with the Night and Ezra Pound's In a Station of the Metro use marvelous imagery, brilliantly giving voice to this bottomless feeling.
In Frost's Acquainted with the Night, he uses an aimless walk in the dark of the night as a metaphor for the loneliness that he knows so well. In the first line he states that he was "one acquainted with the night," taking special care to use the word "one" to describe his place in the night. As the song says, "One is the loneliest number." In the second line he adds rain to the description- twice- walking in it as he enters the night and returns form it. In the third line the picture gets even darker as he out-walks "the furthest city light." It seems as though all hope is being diminished as the light goes out of view.
The second stanza begins with a look "down the saddest city lane." It's as if he is looking down a road in life that he must travel, and personally knows the sadness that awaits him there. As he walks past "the watchman on his beat" (5), one has to wonder if the watchman is God, or simply his own inner self. Whomever it is, he drops his eyes "unwilling to explain"(6), regarding his lack of faith, or perhaps he simply is ashamed to admit his placement in depression.
The third triplet in the poem goes deeper into the description of his feelings of isolation. The sound of other feet walking his path doesn't exist, punctuating the fact that he is on his journey alone.