Study Guide

Fog Man and the Natural World

By Carl Sandburg

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Man and the Natural World

"Fog" is about… well, fog—so we have to talk about nature for a minute. We don't really get a sense of conflict between man and the natural world, rather we see in this poem more of a meditation on the relationship between man and his understanding of the natural world. We see the speaker blending elements of nature into one image (cat-fog) and then trying to simulate the effects nature has on him through the language and form of the poem.

Questions About Man and the Natural World

  1. How does the speaker seem to regard the fog? How does he feel about it?
  2. Who or what seems to have the upper hand in this particular relationship between man and nature? Why? 
  3. Why would the speaker blend elements of nature into one image? How does he make sense of the world around him?
  4. How does the style of Sandburg's language contribute to this theme of nature and man? Is there some sort of connection we can find between the simplicity of his language and nature itself?

Chew on This

Like a boss, Nature comes out on top in more ways than one in Sandburg's poem, as it envelops an entire harbor and city and reminds us of who (or what) is in charge.

Can't quite grasp it? Our imaginations tend to fill in the blanks for us when trying to understand the natural world in "Fog."

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