Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fog by Carl Sandburg


The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
--Carl Sandburg

I have two reasons for posting this poem today. We'll start with the poem itself. It's short--there's just one little metaphor here. He's simply telling us that fog is silent and mysterious like cats are. Something about the way the poem is written, though, makes you think that there must be more there. The metaphor is so very apt that the image is crystal clear even on a first reading. There are a lot of sibilants, like S's and F's, so it almost sounds like the poem ought to be whispered. I think that one of the most important parts of this poems charms is that it is so short -- it arrives, quietly does something mysterious, and then it's gone before you can really figure out quite what it was doing there in the first place.

I also chose this poem because it talks about fog/mist. Peter and I went to Brandon Sanderson's book signing last night, and he was promoting his new Mistborn novel. I'd highly recommend it, and any of the other books he's written for that matter. The signing went really well -- besides us, there were a couple of other people there who were either part of the old TLE crowd at BYU, or who are active on the messageboards started by that group so there was some good audience participation in the question and answer section. There was even a fan artist there with some of her sketches of the main characters. After the signing, we went out into the misty night and about five of us went to dinner at Outback. It was yummy, and a lot of fun to catch up with good friends. Brandon is at an interesting point in his career right now, and it'll be fascinating to see which of the possible paths he outlined last night he'll actually end up going down.


  1. I've loved that poem for years. Thanks for reminding me about it. Also, Jim and I would be very interested in hearing about Brandon's possibilities. We like his books too.

  2. Oh, cool! Brandon's coming here (this next Friday, I think? I have to check). I'm thinking we should go see him.

  3. thanks! this helped me with a school project