Study Guide

Fog Awe and Amazement

By Carl Sandburg

Awe and Amazement

Bear in mind that feeling amazed by something doesn't necessarily mean you'll be swooning and falling to pieces over its beauty. You might instead sound something like Sandburg's speaker in "Fog" who is clearly digging the awesome scope of nature's fog but doesn't need to shout at you and clutter his words with a bunch of exclamation points. He's cool about it, but the awe and amazement are definitely there.

Questions About Awe and Amazement

  1. Even though Sandburg doesn't include words like "awesome," how do we know his speaker is amazed by the fog he sees rolling in?
  2. What's important about the fog looming over the "harbor and city" and how do these lines contribute to the feeling of awe and anxiety?
  3. What about the length of the poem? If something strikes you as amazing, is it always necessary to say a lot about it? 
  4. How does all of the cat imagery contribute to the speaker's sense of awe and amazement? What's happening to his imagination?

Chew on This

Sometimes using the right words, like "silent haunches," is enough to get a poet's meaning across—without needing to write a book about it. Short and sweet can be enough.

Ever been speechless? An indication of true amazement is often found when a speaker, like the one we have in "Fog," appears to be at a loss for words.

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