Poetry Assignment

Topics: Poetry, Psycho, Janet Leigh Pages: 7 (2394 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Poetry Assignment
In this assignment I will gracefully compare and contrast two short poems. In my selection for the poems, I kept in mind that the two poems needed to have something in common metaphorically or thematically. After many hours of browsing I came upon two poems that contained an ultimately strange connection metaphorically and in content. Interestingly, the two also had numerous differences. The first poem I encountered was "The Sick Rose" written by William Blake in 1794. Soon after, I read "Fog" (1916) by Carl Sandburg and I began to notice an exciting connection filled with various exceptions of chief differences. Although the poems were written more than a century apart from each other, after rereading them numerous times, they left me with an unimaginable amount of thinking and writing ground.

The two poems "The Sick Rose" and "Fog" are very much alike in the sense that they both use the introduction of weather and animals to shape the poem and give the reader a sense of displeasure. In "The Sick Rose" the poet introduces a worm and storm and in "Fog" the poet uses the fog and a cat. The subject matter is perhaps similar in these two poems with the fact that both poems embody foul weather that prevent life from flowing in its normal path. To be more specific, a storm destroys plants, animals, and life in general, while a fog blocks out the sun and its energy to spring life.

In "Fog" the poet, Carl Sandburg, uses the weather condition of a fog as the main subject matter for his poem. The entire poem is literally focused on the fog above the city and harbor. Using a metaphor, Sandburg makes the fog come to life as if it actually had its own eyes to be able to overlook the city. The fog takes the shape of a cat as it "sits looking over harbor and city" (570). Like a cat, the fog sits on silent haunches. Personally, Sandburg’s words created a mental picture of a black/grayish, dirty, street cat wandering silently in the alleys of an industrious city observing the streets on top of a half-century old brick building. This engaging metaphor is what makes the fog come to life and also creates its consciousness of the harbor and city that it overlooks. Although the metaphor is being used to show a similarity in the two poems, it will be most significant later on in our discussion in showing the main differences between the two poems. Similarly, in William Blake’s "The Sick Rose" the weather also has a great affect on the poem. The poet, William Blake, introduces a storm that comes in the night carrying an invisible worm. Blake’s use of the word "howling" to describe the storm also gives life to the driving tempest. Although not many words are used to describe the storm, the storm, like the fog, is perhaps very much alive and conscious of its existence. But a more important similarity than the nature and personality of the weather conditions used in each poem is their role. Both poems’ use of foul weather conditions inflict an undesired sense of darkness and sickness. My impression of "The Sick Rose" because of the storm is of darkness, sickness, and death. Unfortunately, something so beautiful and delicate like a rose had to destroyed by the storm and its invisible worm. Similarly, "Fog" gave me a sense of nausea, dirty streets, smoke, and grayish darkness. Thus in my opinion, the general subject matter of the poems are linked by the fact that they both give the reader a sense of displeasure. We would all have to agree that most of us don’t enjoy foggy days and dead roses. Contrast

In my approach to the differences between the poems, I had trouble organizing my ideas because there were so many fascinating details that summed up to large differences that it was hard to know exactly where to start. Thus, I tried to focus on the principal difference, which in my opinion is their different use of metaphor. Since I already meticulously described the sole...
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