English Exercises > Other printables exercises > "Fog" by Carl Sandburg

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Carl Sandburg

The fog comes 
on little cat feet.

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


Vocabulary: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/harbor

    Fog [fawg] -- Noun

a cloudlike mass or layer of minute water droplets or ice crystals near the surface of the earth, appreciably reducing visibility.  

 har bor [hahr-ber] -- Noun/ˈhɑrbər/

1.  a part of a body of water along the shore deep enough for anchoring a ship and so situated with respect to coastal features, whether natural or artificial, as to provide protection from winds, waves, and currents.

2.  such a body of water having docks or port facilities.

3.  any place of shelter or refuge: The old inn was a harbor for tired travelers.




haunch  (hônch, hŏnch) -- Noun    

1.  The hip, buttock, and upper thigh in humans and animals.

2.  The loin and leg of a four-footed animal, especially as used for food: a haunch of venison.


Metaphor /ˈmɛt əˌfɔr, -fər/  [met-uh-fawr, -fer]-- Noun

A metaphor is defined as the substitution of one idea or object with another, used to assist expression or understanding. A common example is "the Internet is an information superhighway." (Internet = highway)





     Sandburg has written a very short, powerful poem. People are always afraid of what we can’t see, and fog often hides what we are trying to view from us. No one will deny that it is harder to see, to drive, or to do our daily routines when it is foggy. Sometimes it becomes foggy before we realize what is happening; however, it can leave just as quickly when the sun rises.

        Cats have always symbolized mystery or magic, so it is not surprising that he chose to use a cat as a metaphor for the fog. We also know that cats come and go quietly, and they do so when they want to, so it is not unusual to find a harbor a little scary before the sun rises.  


        We can now understand that the fog symbolizes our fear of the unknown. Once we see there is nothing to be afraid of, our fears “move on.”


              Cat = mystery or magic or what we don’t understand


Fog = our fears of the unknown


 1. The cat is a metaphor for

2.  The fog symbolizes our  
3. Cats have always symbolized
4. What does "haunches" mean?
5. What do you think the theme is?





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