Explanation of the Poem
This short poem is an expression of the view of fog. For the poet, fog is not just a natural phenomenon, it is rather a creature. Fog has been compared with a cat as the way fog comes, is very similar to the ways of a cat. As a cat walks silently on its small feet, the fog also comes in the same manner, as if trying to avoid any attention. Fog’s presence over and around a city seems as if a cat is sitting silently on its haunches and looking over the harbour and the city. Finally, when fog leaves a city, it looks like a cat’s slow and silent steps moving on from a place.
Central Idea of Poem
The poet Carl Sandburg in his poem ‘fog’ describes fog as a ‘cat’. This description of fog as a living creature shows the poet’s interest in the wonders and beauties of nature. To him, the coming of fog resembles the way a cat comes silently on little feet. Like a cat, the fog sits on its haunches (hips) and like a cat’s gaze (fixed look) the fog looks over the harbour and the city. Just like a cat keeps moving and hardly stays at one place, the fog also slowly moves on and vanishes.
Poetic Devices Used in the Poem
Analogy : Comparison of fag to a cat
Metaphor : The use of cat for referring to fog
Rhyme Scheme : No rhyme. The poem is in free verse.