Night

Frozen shards of ice fall from the darkness of heaven,
Merciless beads of water pelt the cold floor
Hidden by the murky light,
Beating against a pale, exposed, shivering back.
Each drop crashing against a prominent vertebrae,
Barely concealed under skin pulled so tightly the bones beneath
Had begun to break through and scream to the world a message of pain.
The feel of smooth tiles through a shallow pool
Was lost against feet too numb to tell the difference between wet and dry.
Elbows, like spikes, pressed against the hollow cave which was once a stomach,
Trying to find the warmth that always seemed to be just out of reach.
Surrounded by walls stretching to what must be the sky,
Obscured by the ever-present dusk of dwindling light.
The fragile body in the midst of the storm cowered from the terrifying scene.
But the walls continued to close in, sliding closer and closer together.
Skeletal hands raised to cover a tear-stained face from the horror,
While the dying body slid to the tiles under the puddle,
Too exhausted by its struggle to survive.
Eternal night.

This is a sort of poem I wrote about being in the rain while struggling with Anorexia Nervosa

The night is a beautiful thing.

I have no idea why I think this. But for as long as I can remember, the night has held a special glory for me. If I didn't know better, I'd say I was a nature worshipper of some variety. There is just something about letting the crisp air wash over you, feeling the purity of it when you inhale. Your eyes snap into sharper focus to compensate for the lesser illumination. You want to run, fast. Just to feel the exhileration of speed in this deep, cool, still silence. You feel excited, like you did when you were a kid and everything was a mysterious adventure.

Yes, I love being in touch with the night. The silence, the solitary peace.

Needless to say, I find the day despicable.

Combine a beautiful night with a powerful thunderstorm, and that's basically a spiritual experience for me.

When the sun's glow slips into oblivion for another day and the sky becomes blanketed with a heavy darkness accentuated by the twinkle of a star here and there, it is night.

Ambient light pours from windows, and streetlamps, and headlights, and 24 hour convenience stores. Visibility is lowered in direct coorleation to the sun. People become more and more scarce. The world becomes a more desolate, lonely place. Environmental noise drops significantly, and smaller sounds become larger as the enveloping darkness seems to cause sound amplification. When you can imagine your fears with less distraction, it is night.

There are many who fear the night. The night is a deep, dark cave of secrets. However there is a lot that is revealed in the night that cannot be experienced during the day. The amber bounce of a streetlight on a damp sidewalk on a quiet road. Fireflies. Lovers enjoying the company of one another. Candlelight. The buzz of a flourescent sign in the window of a market. Natural darkness. The Earth's moon. The night is something to be enjoyed for what it is, when it comes. No matter what the time, it is night somewhere.

Enjoy the night, for tomorrow is promised to no one.

a poem by William Blake from his Songs of Innocence - 1789

The sun descending in the west,
The evening star does shine;
The birds are silent in their nest,
And I must seek for mine

The moon like a flower,
In heaven's high bower,
With silent delight
Sits and smiles on the night.

Farewell, green fields and happy groves,
Where flocks have took delight.
Where lambs have nibbled, silent moves
The feet of angels bright;
Unseen they pour blessing
And joy without ceasing,
On each bud and blossom,
And each sleeping bosom.

They look in every thoughtless nest,
Where birds are cover'd warm;
They visit caves of every beast,
To keep them all from harm.
If they see any weeping
That should have been sleeping,
They pour sleep on their head,
And sit down by their bed.

When wolves and tygers howl for prey,
They pitying stand and weep;
Seeking to drive their thirst away,
And keep them from the sheep;
But if they rush dreadful,
The angels, most heedful,
Receive each mild spirit,
New worlds to inherit.

And there the lion's ruddy eyes
Shall flow with tears of gold,
And pitying the tender cries,
And walking round the fold,
Saying "Wrath, by his meekness,
And by his health, sickness
Is driven away
From our immortal day.

"And now beside thee, bleating lamb,
I can lie down and sleep;
Or think on him who bore thy name,
Graze after thee and weep.
For, wash'd in life's river,
My bright mane for ever
Shall shine like the gold
As I guard o'er the fold."


Source: Kazin, Alfred (ed). The Portable Blake, p. 92-94. 1976, Penguin Books, New York. The poem is presented as I found it typeset, but the original work is in the public domain.
Night by Elie Wiesel is a pseudo-autobiography of his experience as a Jew in the Holocaust. He describes some things that he saw, and others that he heard about through the eyes of the main character Eliezer.
Night was featured on Oprah's Book List, which of course means 90% of women over 35 have read it, so I was surprised to see there were no nodes on it already.

Significance of Darkness in Elie Wiesel's Night

The book Night by Elie Wiesel has a significant title for several reasons. Wiesel uses the word ‘night’ in a physical, social, spiritual, and traditional sense.

Eliezer has several traumatic experiences at night. His father goes to the conference at night when they learn about the exile out of the ghetto. It is night when Eliezer arrives at the death camp Auschwitz, and it is pitch black when they begin their forced run. It seems that the most horrible things happen while it is night.

Night is really just the absence of light. In the Jewish religion, God is the light. Light was the first thing God created, and he dispels the darkness of suffering. Night, then, is the absence of God. Eliezer starts seriously questioning his faith towards the end of the book. Several other Jews start believing that God has truly left them, thereby leaving them in darkness.

Criminal acts are more frequently committed at night. This is because there is lesser chance of being discovered when you cannot be seen. The Nazis did everything they could to disguise how many people were killed, or that people were killed at all. They did not want to be discovered in their crimes and thereby pay for them. In that way, they committed them under the cover of night.

Night is commonly seen as the end of the day. It seems to the victims that the holocaust is the end of humanity and the end of God. However, in Jewish tradition, sunset and nightfall is the beginning of the day. This shows that there is still life to live when everything is over. Eliezer’s life must continue after he is liberated, even though his family’s lives do not.

In general, night is associated with everything bad in the world. To Eliezer, and hence Wiesel, the holocaust represents everything that could be wrong with the world: no humanity, no God, no law, and no fairness.


Node your homework.

We're driving down Whittle and I'm down to my last. There's an Ethiopian café to the left of us and opposite is an Italian restaurant. The street lights are glowing that sickly yellow on the ground like they had one too many an hour ago and the headlights pierce only a couple of feet ahead. She's asking me why I can't be myself around our friends. I say that maybe the guy I left back there was me, that this one here's the fake. She yells ugly things. I take one last, long puff and she falls slowly back into her wherever. I lick my lips. They still taste like salt. Down South we go.

We're at the lights now. Red and there's a yellow Ferrari wannabe in front of us. She passes off the keys to me. The lights go yellow. We go.

We're at the garage door. I get out and the light flickers on and bleeds orange light over us. I flip through the keychain. Too long. Too short. Too wide. Too thin... I find the right one, fit it into the lock. Other way. I twist it around. Fit it again. There we go.

I'm in the shower. She's in bed. I wash every trace of tonight off me. First the dirt and the glass and the make up, and then the skin that didn't have the decency or the balls to peel away when it should have. I begin to soak to the core. I let out everything that I ate and drank. I can still make out little piece of capsicum.It's red and brown. I let it all wash down the drain. The water makes its way into every hole in me. I wrinkle and fill until nothing else fits. I twist the knobs off and even the water leaves me. I step out. Tomorrow will be different. I go.

Night (?), n. [OE. night, niht, AS. neaht, niht; akin to D. nacht, OS. & OHG. naht, G. nacht, Icel. ntt, Sw. natt, Dan. nat, Goth. nachts, Lith. naktis, Russ. noche, W. nos, Ir. nochd, L. nox, noctis, gr. , , Skr. nakta, nakti. &root; 265. Cf. Equinox, Nocturnal.]

1.

That part of the natural day when the sun is beneath the horizon, or the time from sunset to sunrise; esp., the time between dusk and dawn, when there is no light of the sun, but only moonlight, starlight, or artificial light.

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. Gen. i. 5.

2. Hence: (a)

Darkness; obscurity; concealment.

Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night. Pope.

(b)

Intellectual and moral darkness; ignorance

. (c)

A state of affliction; adversity; as, a dreary night of sorrow

. (d)

The period after the close of life; death

.

She closed her eyes in everlasting night. Dryden.

(e)

A lifeless or unenlivened period, as when nature seems to sleep.

"Sad winter's night".

Spenser.

Night is sometimes used, esp. with participles, in the formation of self-explaining compounds; as, night-blooming, night-born, night-warbling, etc.

Night by night, Night after night, nightly; many nights.

So help me God, as I have watched the night, Ay, night by night, in studying good for England. Shak.

-- Night bird. Zool. (a) The moor hen (Gallinula chloropus). (b) The Manx shearwater (Puffinus Anglorum). -- Night blindness. Med. See Hemeralopia. -- Night cart, a cart used to remove the contents of privies by night. -- Night churr, Zool., the nightjar. -- Night crow, a bird that cries in the night. -- Night dog, a dog that hunts in the night, -- used by poachers. -- Night fire. (a) Fire burning in the night. (b) Ignis fatuus; Will-o'-the-wisp; Jask-with-a-lantern. -- Night flyer Zool., any creature that flies in the night, as some birds and insects. -- night glass, a spyglass constructed to concentrate a large amount of light, so as see objects distinctly at night. Totten. -- Night green, iodine green. -- Night hag, a witch supposed to wander in the night. -- Night hawk Zool., an American bird (Chordeiles Virginianus), allied to the goatsucker. It hunts the insects on which it feeds toward evening, on the wing, and often, diving down perpendicularly, produces a loud whirring sound, like that of a spinning wheel. Also sometimes applied to the European goatsuckers. It is called also bull bat. -- Night heron (Zool.), any one of several species of herons of the genus Nycticorax, found in various parts of the world. The best known species is Nycticorax griseus, or N. nycticorax, of Europe, and the American variety (var. naevius). The yellow-crowned night heron (Nycticorax violaceus) inhabits the Southern States. Called also qua-bird, and squawk. -- Night house, a public house, or inn, which is open at night. -- Night key, a key for unfastening a night latch. -- Night latch, a kind of latch for a door, which is operated from the outside by a key. -- Night monkey Zool., an owl monkey. -- night moth Zool., any one of the noctuids. -- Night parrot Zool., the kakapo. -- Night piece, a painting representing some night scene, as a moonlight effect, or the like. -- Night rail, a loose robe, or garment, worn either as a nightgown, or over the dress at night, or in sickness. [Obs.] -- Night raven Zool., a bird of ill omen that cries in the night; esp., the bittern. -- Night rule. (a) A tumult, or frolic, in the night; -- as if a corruption, of night revel. [Obs.] (b) Such conduct as generally rules, or prevails, at night.

What night rule now about this haunted grove? Shak.

-- Night sight. Med. See Nyctolopia. -- Night snap, a night thief. [Cant]

Beau. & Fl.

-- Night soil, human excrement; -- so called because in cities it is collected by night and carried away for manure. -- Night spell, a charm against accidents at night. -- Night swallow Zool., the nightjar. -- Night walk, a walk in the evening or night. -- Night walker. (a) One who walks in his sleep; a somnambulist; a noctambulist. (b) One who roves about in the night for evil purposes; specifically, a prostitute who walks the streets. -- Night walking. (a) Walking in one's sleep; somnambulism; noctambulism. (b) Walking the streets at night with evil designs. -- Night warbler Zool., the sedge warbler (Acrocephalus phragmitis); -- called also night singer. [prov. Eng.] -- Night watch. (a) A period in the night, as distinguished by the change of watch. (b) A watch, or guard, to aford protection in the night. -- Night watcher, one who watches in the night; especially, one who watches with evil designs. -- Night witch. Same as Night hag, above.

 

© Webster 1913.

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