The Fog – Poem with Questions and Answers – CHSE Odisha +2 Alternative English

The Fog

by William Henry Davies

Text with Questions and Answers for the Poem included in the CHSE +2 Alternative English book ‘Approaches to English – II’.

Click here to download the PDFs of Approaches to English I & II free of cost.

The Poem

I saw the fog grow thick,
Which soon made blind my ken;
It made tall men of boys,
And giants of tall men.

It clutched my throat, I coughed;
Nothing was in my head
Except two heavy eyes
Like balls of burning lead.

And when it grew so black
That I could know no place,
I lost all judgment then,
Of distance and of space.

The street lamps, and the lights
Upon the halted cars,
Could either be on earth
Or be the heavenly stars.

A man passed by me close,
I asked my way, he said,
‘Come, follow me, my friend’—
I followed where he led.

He rapped the stones in front,
‘Trust me,’ he said, ‘and come’;
I followed like a child—
A blind man led me home.

Questions for discussion

1. How can the fog affect a person’s vision?
Answer – The fog, depending on its density, can mire a person’s vision either lightly or greatly. Because of this, the person might feel disoriented, lost, and distressed.

2. What examples does the poet offer to illustrate his error of judgement? 
Answer – The pedestrian discovered that he is no longer able to see clearly the road ahead. For him, a boy looked like a tall man, and a towering figure or object appeared to be the like of a tall man.

3. What simile does he use to express how his eyes felt in the fog? 
Answer –  ‘Heavy eyes burning as lead’, “The street lights, and the lamps of stationary cars appearing as stars’,

4. At what stage of the poem is the poet completely overpowered by the fog?
Answer – By the time the poet (pedestrian) lost all sense of altitude and confused the position of stars and car lamps, he was totally befuddled. This was moments before he met the stranger.

5. How does he describe the street scene in the fog?
Answer – As the fog became more and more intense, visibility in the street became increasingly poorer. It made the poet struggle to see the road ahead. Everything looked so topsy-turvy to him. He found it hard to proceed ahead.

6. Who “rapped the stones in front”? And why?
Answer – It was the stranger who was escorting the poet to his destination. Being a blind man, he used his stick to feel the position of stones that were markers for him.

7. What was the poet’s reaction to the offer of help?
Answer – The author was relieved and very thankful when the stranger offered to escort him home.

8. Do you find the last line of the poem paradoxical? Explain.
Answer – In a way, the line is paradoxical, because the blind man could make his way through the fog, where as the poet with normal vision found it hard to negotiate his way through it.

9. In an otherwise dark scene, we come across words like ‘burning’, “lamps, and the lights”, and “heavenly stars”. What purpose do these expressions serve in the poem?
Answer – These words help to create the impression that the darkness was not all that difficult to negotiate through, and the author was unduly nervous about the fog.

10. If you find yourself in a similar situation, what would you do? – follow the blind man as the poet did or wait till the fog clears?
Answer – I will do neither. I will keenly watch the road, the landmarks in the side, and slowly walk ahead.

Answers to Composition questions 1 & 2 will be posted on specific request from the readers. While sending in your request, mention the word limit for the answers you desire.

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Please post the answer of composition question 1 & 2 in 50-60 words

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