Meeting at Night by Robert Browning
Meeting at Night by Robert Browning

Poems which use nature and weather are great additions to any classroom during a poetry lesson. Children can learn all about the use of metaphor, personification and can easily respond to the poem using their own weather observations and poetry skills.

Meeting at Night is a love poem bursting with imagery that would suit many older classrooms. Whether it’s the opening ‘gray sea and the long black land’ or the ‘mile of warm sea-scented beach’, there is an abundance of challenging, creative imagery which children can examine.

A poem based on two lovers meeting, Meeting at Night describes the journey the speaker makes traveling during the night. Ideas on how to use this poem include:

  • personification (making something seem human-like)
  • Meeting at Night is a love poem – what does this mean?
  • List onamatipea words – what words sound like rain? Thunder? To describe the setting?
  • Beautiful imagery used – how does the poet set the scene?
  • Respond to the poem by writing a version set during the day-time / add a verse on the pair meeting.

Meeting at Night

By Robert Browning

The grey sea and the long black land;

And the yellow half-moon large and low;

And the startled little waves that leap

In fiery ringlets from their sleep,

As I gain the cove with pushing prow,

And quench its speed i’ the slushy sand.

Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;

Three fields to cross till a farm appears;

A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch

And blue spurt of a lighted match,

And a voice less loud, thro’ its joys and fears,

Than the two hearts beating each to each!

About the author: Robert Brown was born in 1812, and is regarded as one of the great Victorian poets and dubbed an influential philosopher of the time.

Meeting at Night

By Robert Browning

The grey sea and the long black land;

And the yellow half-moon large and low;

And the startled little waves that leap

In fiery ringlets from their sleep,

As I gain the cove with pushing prow,

And quench its speed i’ the slushy sand.

Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;

Three fields to cross till a farm appears;

A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch

And blue spurt of a lighted match,

And a voice less loud, thro’ its joys and fears,

Than the two hearts beating each to each!


Poetry Ideas:

  • Check out our Poetry Page for lots of poems to use in your classroom
  • Keep a poetry diary for kids to record read work – read more poems by favourite poets
  • Adjective / Onomatopoeia word hunts
  • Write a response verse from the perspective of a different character
  • Write a response verse in a different style – nonsense, rhyming, haiku, cinquain etc. Does this change the poem?
  • Think up of 5/10 Questions you would ask a character in a poem/the author
  • Illustrate your favourite image from the poem – in black & white, colour.
  • Storyboard the poem: each verse gets a scene
  • Create a diorama of the poem out of recycling materials
  • Illustrate a book cover/movie poster that could accompany the poem
  • Write the poem using appropriate fonts / why did you choose this to reflect the poem?