Two Treatments of an Image

Carl Sandburg wrote this little poem:

images-1.jpgFog

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

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

As I read it, I stopped, recalling a similar image from T. S. Eliot in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

Interesting comparison.

I know that most of Eliot is old news in the history of contemporary poetry but I fondly remember pouring over the lines and images of Prufrock way back in High School. Just now I reread the poem two times and I have to admit it, I’m still a big fan.

And then there’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats which was made into a very successful musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber.

What are your thoughts on this?

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