I am starting a series of posts to share some of my favorite poems. And when they’re my favorite it’s usually because they made an impression on me and inspired me in some way, so I’ll share them in light of their impressionability and inspirational factors. Particularly in how they influenced and shaped my writing, my writing style, and my writing goals.
One of the earliest poems that I remember really making an impression on me was “Fog” by Carl Sandburg.
Years ago my mom bought me a collection of poetry books for young people – with one book dedicated to each of ten or so famous authors. They were thin paperback books with pictures and everything. But they were my first true introduction to the literary greats of poetry.
Carl Sandburg was, rightfully so, in that collection. I liked him from the beginning. His way of describing and creating moods really stood out to me. When I read “Fog” – in all its simplicity – I remember getting hit with two feelings. First, this is the way I want to write. His were the kinds of descriptions I wanted to master. Second, this is the way I do write. Granted I didn’t (and still don’t) have anywhere near that skill level, I instantly related to his writing style. The way he captured an idea as wistful as “fog” in such a succinct yet complete and completely beautiful manner was the kind of capturing I tried for so often.
All that said, here is one of the earliest poems that I remember having a profound impression upon me:
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
– Carl Sandburg