• Acquainted with the Night

To mark the opening today of an exhibition of prints by Howard Hodgkin, here’s Robert Frost reading the sonnet whose title Hodgkin has borrowed for this show and which he gave to his first ever print.

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain — and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

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-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
O luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Howard Hodgkin: Acquainted with the Night is at the Alan Cristea Gallery, Cork St, London until 7 July 2012.

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