Monday, January 6, 2020

Fog - Carl Sandburg

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

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

Sometimes, it's enough that a poem simply conjure to mind one specific feeling or image with clarity.  To so clearly communicate what something so amorphous as fog feels like, rather, behaves like, is an achievement, and the direct statement of such is what I admire about Carl Sandburg's poetry.  Fog touches lightly, and comes and goes without making a commotion like rain, or snow.

Sandburg himself once defined poetry as, "a pack-sack of invisible keepsakes."  That's appropriate, I think, for this little gem of a poem, which captures the feeling of fog.  In a way, it's as if Sandburg has taken the image of fog as a keepsake for himself.  I know that the next time I wake to a foggy morning, I won't be able to help myself but to remember fog as coming on "little cat feet."  In that sense, Sandburg has given us, too, a little, invisible keepsake.