Acquainted with the Night: Insomnia Poems

Acquainted with the Night: Insomnia Poems

By: Lisa Russ Spaar (editor)Hardback

1 - 2 weeks availability


It is the rare individual who has not, at one time or another, been kept awake for hours on end-as the rest of the world, maddeningly, appears to be comfortably lost in the nocturnal world of dreams. Here is a treasury of verse on the rich subject of insomnia-meditations by poets who have sought to describe their own moments of solitude in darkness, when the world's regular bustle of activity and distraction falls away and they are left to contemplate in silence. Acquainted with the Night brings together Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Bishop, Rimbaud and Sappho, Shakespeare and Shelley-the great poets of the Western literary heritage-on a theme with which each one has been acutely familiar. Lisa Russ Spaar has also unearthed ruminations on the sleepless nights of poets the world over: in a fascinatingly diverse anthology, she has harvested verse from Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Inuit, Vietnamese, Tamil, Yiddish, and Romanian poets, who together present an illuminating display of insomnia's extraordinary and enduring legacy in widely different cultures through the centuries. As these exquisite poems chart a course from solitude, through anxiety, to epiphany, the reader truly learns what it means to be acquainted with the night.

Create a review

About Author

Lisa Russ Spaar is a lecturer in creative writing and the administrator of the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing in the English Department at the University of Virginia. Collections of Spaar's own poetry include Blind Boy on Skates and Glass Town.


One: Solitude and VigilInsomnia, by Elizabeth BishopInsomnia, by Joyce Carol OatesLines Written at Night During Insomnia, by Alexander PushkinInsomnia, by Dana GioiaInsomnia, by Cornelius EadyMirrors at 4 A.M., by Charles SimicWhat She Said, by PatumanrThe Moon, by Gunnar Ekelfrom The Sleepers, by Walt WhitmanAcquainted with the Night, by Robert Frostfrom The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth, by William ShakespeareInsomnia. Homer. Taut sails, by Osip MandelstamInsomnia Song, by Gregory OrrThe Bench of Boors, by Herman MelvilleSleep's Underside, by Melissa KirschInsomnia, by Debra NystromOn Reading The Book of Odes, by Cao B Qu tThe Insomnia of Tremayne, by Donald JusticeInsomnia, by alvatore QuasimodoHalcion, by R. T. SmithInsomniac, by Sylvia PlathMoonless Night, by Louise GlockInsomnia at the Solstice, by Jane KenyonWhen Night is almost done [347], by Emily DickinsonIf This Room Is Our World, by Weldon KeesMidnight Saving Time, by Adrien StoutenburgJuly Dawn, by Louise BoganPsalm: The New Day, by Mark JarmanTwo: Anguish and LongingOne Night, by Umberto SabaI wake and feel the fell of dark, not day, by Gerard Manley HopkinsWhen Loneliness Is a Man, by Yusef Komunyakaafrom Night of Hell, by Arthur RimbaudJob 7:2--8; 12--15; 20--21, by King James BibleLament at Night, by H. LeivickNight in a Room by the River, by Tu FuBallad of One Doomed to Die, by Federico Garcia LorcaThe Broken Dark, by Robert Haydenfrom Macbeth, by William ShakespeareApology to Andrew, by Richard JonesThe Cross of Snow, by Henry Wadsworth LongfellowExile, by Ellen Bryant VoigtTonight I've watched, by SapphoAubade, by Philip LarkinAdolescence--II, by Rita DoveDark One,/how can I sleep?, by MirabaiBright Venus, who across the heavens stray, by Louise LabThe Pains of Sleep, by Samuel Taylor ColeridgeFor whatever animals dwell on earth, by PetrarchCome sleep, Oh sleep, the certain knot of peace, by Sir Philip SidneyIs it thy will thy image should keep open, by William ShakespeareThe Night Alone, by MeleagrosBread and Wine, by Nina CassianShe Speaks to Her Husband, Asleep, by Robert SchultzNevertheless the moon, by Muriel RukeyserWeary with toil, I haste me to my bed, by William ShakespeareHow can I then return in happy plight, by William ShakespeareThe Late Hour, by Mark StrandThree: Epiphany and VisionThe Appalachian Book of the Dead III, by Charles WrightTo the monk at Thanh-phong Monastery, by King Tron Th i-t"ngfrom Winter, by RyokanUtitia'q's Song [Inuit]At the end of a crazy-moon night, by LallaRelentlessly Lovelorn, the Non-Sleeper Whispers and Re-Whispers a Magic Charm Against His Wound's Roar, by Stephen MarguliesMake the Bed, by Stephen CushmanInsomnia, by Dante Gabriel RossettiWhite Night, by Mary OliverStars, by Emily Bront Bright Star, by John KeatsOwl, by Robert MezeyInsomnia on a Summer Night, by Umberto SabaInsomnia, by Tristan Corbi reA Clear Midnight, by Walt WhitmanHis Lamp Near Daybreak, by Yannis RitsosNight-Time: Starting to Write, by Bernard SpencerGift of the Poem, by Stephane MallarmAnecdote of the Prince of Peacocks, by Wallace Stevenshototogisu/hototogisu tote/akeni keri, by Kaga no ChiyoAstronomies and slangs to find you, dear, by John Berrymanfrom Insomnia, by Marina TsvetaevaMy night awake (from The Speed of Darkness), by Muriel RukeyserThe Night Person, by Richard Frost

Product Details

  • publication date: 29/09/1999
  • ISBN13: 9780231115445
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 208
  • ID: 9780231115445
  • weight: 272
  • ISBN10: 023111544X

Delivery Information

  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly