What is the theme of the poem "Fog" by Carl Sandburg?

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sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Poetry could be interpreted in so many different ways depending on the reader and even the emotional state of the reader.  Additionally, Sandburg's brevity and natural language make it seem like the poem is about nothing else other than fog closing in around a harbor city and then moving out.  Is Sandburg trying to say that fog is like a cat or that cats are like fog?  

It's more likely that the theme that Sandburg is trying to convey to his readers is nature's uncaring attitude toward mankind.  It is obvious from the poem that the fog and people exist within the same space, but it's also clear that the fog (nature) has a sort of aloof attitude at the intrusion of mankind in its space.  A cat is a perfect animal to further illustrate that since cats tend to be fiercely independent and quite aloof toward just about everything.  Thematically, I think Sandburg is showing his reader that people are a part of nature, but nature isn't about to bend to the will and desires of people.  It is uncaring and will do what it pleases. 

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