Comparing The Sick Rose by William Blake and Fog by Carl Sandburg

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Comparing "The Sick Rose" by William Blake and "Fog" by Carl Sandburg

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
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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.


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

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