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The Fog

Original theatrical poster
Directed by John Carpenter
Produced by Charles B. Bloch
Debra Hill
Barry Bernardi
Pegi Brotman
Written by John Carpenter
Debra Hill
Starring Adrienne Barbeau
Jamie Lee Curtis
John Houseman
Janet Leigh
Hal Holbrook
Music by John Carpenter
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Editing by Charles Bornstein
Tommy Lee Wallace
Distributed by AVCO Embassy Pictures
Release date(s) February 1, 1980
Running time 89 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,000,000 (estimate)
Gross revenue $21,378,000 (domestic sub-total)

The Fog is a 1980 horror movie directed by John Carpenter, who also wrote the screenplay and composed the music of the film. It stars Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins and Janet Leigh. It was distributed by AVCO Embassy Pictures. The movie is a ghost story involving mysterious events, including gruesome murders, which accompany a strange, glowing fog that spreads over land and sea.

Writer and director John Carpenter was not happy with the first cut of the film, and subsequently added several new scenes and re-shot others. Approximately one-third of the finished film is composed of re-shot footage. The film has received positive reviews, with a 69% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes,[1] and was a commercial success. The film inspired a 2005 remake, also called The Fog.

Contents

Plot

Set in a Northern California fishing town called Antonio Bay (the real locations were Bolinas, California, Inverness, California, Point Reyes lighthouse, Point Reyes Station, and the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Sierra Madre, California). The town is about to celebrate its centennial on April 21, and are having a celebration led by Kathy Williams. However, the centennial is also marked by ominous events, including the appearance of a glowing fog that spreads over land and sea.

The night before the town's celebration, a group of children are entertained by a ghost story, told by 'old' Mr. Machen (exactly at the stroke of midnight), the resident elderly fisherman. The story being told is indicative of the history of the town's formation, which is being discovered at that exact moment by the local priest, Father Malone, when he finds the diary of his grandfather (who was also the town's priest). The diary later reveals a dark secret unknown to the current inhabitants where, in 1880, six of the founders of Antonio Bay (including Malone's grandfather) deliberately sank and plundered the Elizabeth Dane, a clipper ship owned by Blake, a wealthy man with leprosy who wanted to establish a colony near Antonio Bay. The six conspirators lit a fire on the beach near treacherous rocks, and the crew of the clipper, deceived by the false beacon, crashed into them. Everyone aboard the ship perished. The six conspirators were motivated both by greed and disgust at the notion of having a leper colony nearby. Antonio Bay and its church were then founded with the gold plundered from the ship.

The mysterious fog contains the vengeful ghosts of Blake and the clipper's crew, who have come back on the hundredth anniversary of the shipwreck and the founding of the town to take the lives of six people (symbolic substitutes for the six conspirators).

This same night, three local fishermen, Al Williams, Tommy Wallace, and Dick Baxter, are gruesomely murdered by supernatural attackers after the fog covers their boat. Just prior to their deaths, Al and Tommy are standing on the deck of the boat and can see a ghostly looking ship pulling along side theirs, through the dense, but glowing fog.

At the same time, Nick Castle drives down a country road and picks up a hitchhiker called Elizabeth. While the two drive towards town, the radio and headlights of the car start to fail, as the windows of the truck are blown out. At the same time, various odd phenomena begin to happen around the sleeping town (chairs move, television sets turn themselves on, gas stations seemingly come to life).

A short time later, Nick and Elizabeth have arrived at Nick's coastal home and are relaxing when a heavy knock is heard at the door. Making his way to open the glass, front door, Nick sees an odd light shining outside, illuminating a shadowy figure. The clock strikes 1AM, and it's face suddenly cracks, just as Nick opens the door, only to see there is no one there, and the fog has dissipated.

The following morning, while in her bungalow next to the beach, the local radio DJ Stevie Wayne is lying in bed when her young son, Andy, returns to the house showing her a broken plank of wood he has discovered. It reads "DANE." Intrigued by the piece, Stevie keeps it and takes it with her to the lighthouse, where she is preparing for her next show and listening to various promotional tapes for her station. Stevie sets the plank on top of the tape player that is playing the promotional spots, and while she is momentarily distracted, the plank begins to seep water. The water spreads and causes the tape player to short. Suddenly, Blake's voice emerges from the tape player swearing revenge, the words "Six Must Die" appear on the plank, and the plank bursts into flames. A shocked Stevie immediately extinguishes the fire. Afterwards, Stevie checks the plank only to find that it once again reads "DANE."

Nick and Elizabeth search the boat where the fishermen were killed, and Elizabeth finds the eyeless corpse of Dick Baxter, the youngest of the three fishermen. They then take Baxter's body to the local coroner's office to be examined by Dr. Phibes. Phibes, who is perplexed by the body's advanced state of decomposition, takes Nick aside to ask him about the circumstances of the body's discovery and leaves Elizabeth alone in the autopsy room with Baxter's corpse. The body becomes momentarily re-animated, rises from the steel autopsy table, grabs a scalpel, and walks over to Elizabeth. As Baxter's corpse moves closer to Elizabeth, she screams, and the body drops to the floor, lifeless once again. Elizabeth's screams bring Nick and Phibes rushing back into the autopsy room, where they see that the corpse has scratched the number "3" into the floor with the scalpel.

The Antonio Bay centennial celebration begins in the center of town. At the same time, Dan, the local weatherman, and Stevie talk over the phone. Stevie expresses her apprehension about the strange glowing fog that is moving toward the town. Dan then hears a knock at the weather station's door and leaves Stevie on the phone while he goes to answer it. Dan is killed when he opens the door and one of the ghosts impales him through the throat with a hook, and Stevie listens in horror.

As Stevie begins her radio broadcast, the ghosts of the fog cut the town's phone lines and electricity. Stevie begs her listeners to go to her house and save her son when she sees the fog roll up to it. Nick and Elizabeth hear this and go to help. Meanwhile, a strange knock comes at the door of Stevie's home. The elderly babysitter goes to answer it and tells Andy to go to his room. When she opens the door, the ghosts emerge from the fog and impale her on their swords and hooks; they then turn their attention to Andy. However, Nick arrives just in time to save him, escaping with Andy in his car.

As the celebration comes to an end, Kathy and her assistant drive home in the same car. When they turn on the radio they hear Stevie repeatedly telling people to stay away from the fog as it is dangerous. When the fog appears, they drive away from it. They then hear Stevie saying the only safe place is the church, which they go to. Nick, Elizabeth and Andy hear the same message and they too go to the church. They all meet in the church as well as Father Malone, and they hide in the small back room. While they are in the room Kathy and Father Malone find the stolen gold, which has been melted into a cross. Blake's ghost and his crew begin to break into the room. Knowing he is the offspring of the last conspirator, Father Malone confronts the ghosts with the golden cross in an attempt to sacrifice himself and save everyone else.

Back at the lighthouse several of the ghosts try to attack Stevie. She climbs onto the roof with the ghosts in hot pursuit. The ghosts slowly close in on her and get ready to attack.

Inside the church, Blake's ghost seizes the golden cross, which begins to emit an eerie glow. The church rumbles as the light emanating from the cross becomes brighter and brighter. Nick manages to pull Father Malone away from the cross only seconds before it disappears, along with Blake's ghost, in a blinding flash of light and a thunderclap. The apparent demise of Blake's ghost causes the other ghosts to disappear as well. The fog also vanishes, and it appears that the townspeople are saved. Later that evening, Father Malone is alone in the church. In a moment of guilt, he asks himself, "Why not me, Blake?". At that moment the fog reappears, along with Blake and his men. Blake swings his sword at Father Malone's head, decapitating him, as the screen fades to black.

Production

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Inspiration

John Carpenter has admitted that some of the inspiration for the story was drawn from the British film The Trollenberg Terror (1958), which dealt with monsters hiding in the clouds. He has also said that he was inspired by a visit to Stonehenge with his co-writer/producer (and then-girlfriend), Debra Hill. While in England promoting Assault on Precinct 13, Carpenter and Hill visited the site in the late afternoon one day and saw an eerie fog in the distance. In the DVD audio commentary for the film, Carpenter noted that the story of the deliberate wreckage of a ship and its subsequent plundering was based on an actual event that took place in the 19th century near Goleta, California.[2]

The Fog was part of a two-picture deal with AVCO-Embassy, along with Escape from New York (1981), and was shot on a reported budget of $1 million."[3] Although this was essentially a low budget independent film, Carpenter chose to shoot the movie in the anamorphic format. This gave the film a grander feel for the viewer so it did not seem like a low budget horror film. The picture was filmed from April 1979 to May 1979 at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, California (interior scenes) and at Point Reyes, California (lighthouse scenes).

After viewing a rough cut of the film, John Carpenter was dissatisfied with the results. Recalling the experience, Carpenter commented "It was terrible. I had a movie that didn't work, and I knew it in my heart".[4] Carpenter subsequently added the prologue with Mr. Machen (John Houseman) telling ghost stories to fascinated children by a campfire. The name "Machen" is a reference to British horror fantasist Arthur Machen. Carpenter added several other new scenes and re-shot others in order to make the film more comprehensible, more frightening, and gorier. Carpenter and Debra Hill have said the necessity of a re-shoot became especially clear to them after they realized that The Fog would have to compete with horror films that had high gore content.[5]

Approximately one-third of the finished film is the newer footage.

Casting

Cast as the female lead was Adrienne Barbeau, Carpenter's then-wife, who appeared in Someone's Watching Me!. Tom Atkins, a friend of Barbeau's, was cast as Nick Castle, a character named after another of Carpenter's collaborators. The Fog was Atkins' first appearance in a Carpenter film. He would go on to appear in Carpenter's next film, Escape from New York and Halloween III: Season of the Witch, which was produced and scored by Carpenter.[6]

Jamie Lee Curtis appeared as Elizabeth. Commenting on the role and on appearing in another of Carpenter's films, she said "That's what I love about John. He's letting me explore different aspects of myself. I'm spoiled rotten now. My next director is going to be almost a letdown".[7]

Reception

The film was greeted with mixed reviews when it was initially released, but it was a commercial success. Roger Ebert commented in his review that "This isn't a great movie but it does show great promise from Carpenter".[8] It is now generally considered to be, as Carpenter once called it, "a minor horror classic". Carpenter himself stated that this is not his overall favorite film due to re-shoots and low production values. This is one of the reasons he agreed to the 2005 remake (see below).

Novelization

In the same year as the movie was released, a novelization of it with the same name was published as well, written by Dennis Etchison. The novel implies that the six who must die were not random but in fact decendants of the six original conspirators.

Cast

Actor Role
Adrienne Barbeau Stevie Wayne
Jamie Lee Curtis Elizabeth Solley
Janet Leigh Kathy Williams
John Houseman Mr. Machen
Tom Atkins Nick Castle
James Canning Dick Baxter
Charles Cyphers Dan O'Bannon
Nancy Loomis Sandy Fadel
Ty Mitchell Andy Wayne
Hal Holbrook Father Malone
John F. Goff Al Williams
George 'Buck' Flower Tommy Wallace
Darwin Joston Dr. Phibes
Rob Bottin Blake
John Carpenter Bennett

Remake

The film was remade under the direction of Rupert Wainwright with a screenplay by Cooper Layne and starring Tom Welling and Maggie Grace. Though based on the concept of Carpenter and Hill's original screenplay, the remake was a "teen horror film." Green-lit by Revolution Studios with just eighteen pages of script written, the film was nearly universally panned for the shallow plot and poor acting. As of January 2006, the film has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 5%.

References

  1. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1007617-fog
  2. ^ Gilles Boulenger, John Carpenter Prince of Darkness, (Los Angeles, Silman-James Press, 2003), pp.116, ISBN 1-879505-67-3
  3. ^ Boulenger, pp. 115
  4. ^ Boulenger, pp. 118
  5. ^ Audio commentary by John Carpenter and Debra Hill in The Fog, 2002 special edition DVD.
  6. ^ MattFini's Halloween Top 10 Lists: Ghost Stories!
  7. ^ Paul Scanlon, 'THE FOG': A SPOOK RIDE ON FILM[1]; last accessed November 17, 2007
  8. ^ Roger Ebert, review of The Fog[2]; last accessed November 17, 2007

External links


The Fog
File:The fog 1980 movie
Original theatrical poster
Directed by John Carpenter
Produced by Charles B. Bloch
Debra Hill
Barry Bernardi
Pegi Brotman
Written by John Carpenter
Debra Hill
Starring Adrienne Barbeau
Jamie Lee Curtis
John Houseman
Janet Leigh
Hal Holbrook
Music by John Carpenter
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Editing by Charles Bornstein
Tommy Lee Wallace
Distributed by AVCO Embassy Pictures
Release date(s) February 1, 1980
Running time 89 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,000,000 (estimate)
Gross revenue $21,378,000 (domestic sub-total)

The Fog is a 1980 horror movie directed by John Carpenter, who also co-wrote the screenplay and composed the music for the film. It stars Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins and Janet Leigh. It tells the story of a strange, glowing fog that sweeps in over a small coastal town in California, bringing with it the vengeful ghosts of mariners who were killed in a shipwreck there exactly 100 years earlier.

The Fog was Carpenter's first feature film after the success of his 1978 horror Halloween, which also starred Jamie Lee Curtis. Though not as big a success as Halloween, the film received some good reviews (with a 69% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes[1]) and was also a commercial success. A remake of the film was made in 2005.

Contents

Plot

The fishing town of Antonio Bay in California is about to celebrate its centennial. With preparations for the celebration underway, the centennial is also marked by a series of ominous events, including the appearance of a supernatural glowing fog that spreads over land and sea and moves against the wind.

The night before the town's celebration, Father Malone, the town's priest, finds his grandfather's diary from a hundred years earlier. The diary reveals that in 1880, six of the founders of Antonio Bay (including Malone's grandfather) deliberately sank and plundered a clipper ship named the Elizabeth Dane. The ship was owned by Blake, a wealthy man with leprosy who wanted to establish a colony near Antonio Bay. During a foggy night, the six conspirators lit a fire on the beach near treacherous rocks, and the crew of the ship, deceived by the false beacon, crashed into them. Everyone aboard the ship perished. The six conspirators were motivated both by greed and disgust at the notion of having a leper colony nearby. Antonio Bay and its church were then founded with the gold plundered from the ship.

As midnight strikes and the date of the town's centennial begins, three local fishermen are gruesomely murdered by supernatural attackers after the fog covers their trawler whilst out at sea. A ghostly looking clipper ship is seen pulling alongside their fishing trawler. The mysterious fog contains the vengeful ghosts of Blake and the clipper ship's crew, who have come back on the hundredth anniversary of the shipwreck and the founding of the town to take the lives of six people (symbolic substitutes for the six conspirators).

At the same time, town resident Nick Castle drives down a country road and picks up a young female hitchhiker named Elizabeth Solley. While the two drive towards town, the radio and headlights of Nick's truck start to fail and all the windows inexplicably shatter. At the same time, various odd phenomena begin to happen all over the sleeping town (objects move by themselves, television sets turn themselves on, gas stations seemingly come to life, and all the public payphones ring simultaneously).

The following morning, local radio DJ Stevie Wayne is given a piece of driftwood that was found on the beach by her young son Andy. The driftwood is inscribed with the word "DANE". Intrigued by the object, Stevie keeps it and takes it with her to the lighthouse where she broadcasts her radio show from. Stevie sets the piece of wood down on top of a tape player that is playing, and while she is momentarily distracted, the wood inexplicably begins to seep water. The water spreads and causes the tape player to short out. Suddenly, a mysterious man's voice emerges from the tape player swearing revenge, and the words "Six Must Die" appear on the wood before it bursts into flames. A shocked Stevie quickly extinguishes the fire, but afterwards, she sees that the wood once again reads "DANE" and the tape player begins working normally again.

Nick and Elizabeth search the boat where the fishermen were killed, and Elizabeth finds the corpse of Dick Baxter with his eyes gouged out. The other two fishermen are nowhere to be found. They then take Baxter's body to the local coroner's office to be examined by Dr. Phibes, who is perplexed by the body's advanced state of decomposition considering Baxter died only hours earlier. Whilst Elizabeth is alone in the autopsy room with Baxter's corpse, the body becomes momentarily re-animated. It rises from the autopsy table, grabs a scalpel, and walks over to Elizabeth. As Elizabeth screams, Nick and Phibes rush back into the autopsy room, where they see the corpse lifeless again on the floor. However it appears to have scratched the number "3" into the floor with the scalpel. Baxter was the third victim to die.

That evening, the Antonio Bay centennial celebration begins in the center of town. At the same time, Dan, the local weatherman, calls Stevie at the radio station to tell her that another fog bank has appeared and is moving towards town. As they are talking, the fog gathers outside the weather station and Dan hears a knock at the door. Leaving Stevie on the phone while he goes to answer it, Dan is killed by the ghosts as Stevie listens in horror.

As Stevie begins her radio broadcast, the fog begins moving inland and neutralizes the town's phone and electricity lines. Using a back-up generator, Stevie begs her listeners to go to her house and save her son when she sees the fog closing in from her lighthouse vantage point. Nick and Elizabeth hear this on the car radio and go to help. Meanwhile, at Stevie's home, her son's babysitter, Mrs. Kobritz, is killed by the ghosts as the fog envelops the house. The ghosts then pursue Andy, but Nick arrives just in time to save him and they escape.

As the town's celebration comes to an end, the celebration's organiser Kathy Williams and her assistant Sandy are driving home when they turn on the car radio and hear Stevie warning people about the dangerous fog that is sweeping through the town. Stevie advises everyone to go to the local church, which appears to be the only safe place. Nick, Elizabeth and Andy hear the same message and the group gather at the church. Once inside, they and Father Malone take refuge in a small back room as the fog begins to roll outside. Inside the room, Kathy and Father Malone find a large gold cross buried in the walls. The cross is made of the gold that was stolen from Blake and his people a hundred years earlier. As the ghosts of Blake and his crew begin to assail the church, Father Malone takes the golden cross out into the chapel. Knowing he is the offspring of one of the conspirators, Malone confronts Blake in an attempt to sacrifice himself and save everyone else.

Back at the lighthouse, two of the ghosts try to attack Stevie. She climbs onto the roof, but the ghosts follow and trap her...

Inside the church, Blake seizes the golden cross from Malone, which begins to emit an eerie glow. The church rumbles as the light emanating from the cross becomes brighter and brighter. Nick manages to pull Father Malone away from the cross only seconds before it disappears, along with Blake and his crew, in a blinding flash of light. The ghosts attacking Stevie on the roof of the lighthouse disappear as well, and the fog vanishes. Later that evening, Father Malone is alone in the church, pondering why Blake did not kill him and thus take six lives. At that moment, the fog reappears along with Blake and his crew. Blake swings his sword at Father Malone's head.

Production

Development

John Carpenter has stated that the inspiration for the story was partly drawn from the British film The Trollenberg Terror (1958), which dealt with monsters hiding in the clouds. He has also said that he was inspired by a visit to Stonehenge with his co-writer/producer (and then-girlfriend), Debra Hill. While in England promoting Assault on Precinct 13, Carpenter and Hill visited the site in the late afternoon one day and saw an eerie fog in the distance. In the DVD audio commentary for the film, Carpenter noted that the story of the deliberate wreckage of a ship and its subsequent plundering was based on an actual event that took place in the 19th century near Goleta, California.[2]

The Fog was part of a two-picture deal with AVCO-Embassy, along with Escape from New York (1981), and was shot on a reported budget of $1 million.[3] Although this was essentially a low budget independent film, Carpenter chose to shoot the movie in the anamorphic 2.35:1 format, which gave the film a grander look so it did not seem like a low budget horror film. The picture was filmed from April 1979 to May 1979 at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, California (interior scenes) and on location at Point Reyes, California, Bolinas, California, Inverness, California, and the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Sierra Madre, California).

After viewing a rough cut of the film, Carpenter was dissatisfied with the results. Recalling the experience, Carpenter commented "It was terrible. I had a movie that didn't work, and I knew it in my heart".[4] Carpenter subsequently added the prologue with Mr. Machen (John Houseman) telling ghost stories to fascinated children by a campfire. The name "Machen" is a reference to British horror fantasist Arthur Machen. Carpenter added several other new scenes and re-shot others in order to make the film more comprehensible, more frightening, and gorier. Carpenter and Debra Hill have said the necessity of a re-shoot became especially clear to them after they realized that The Fog would have to compete with horror films that had high gore content.[5]

Approximately one-third of the finished film is the newer footage.

Casting

Cast as the female lead was Adrienne Barbeau, Carpenter's then-wife, who had appeared in Carpenter's TV movie Someone's Watching Me! in 1978. Barbeau would subsequently appear in Carpenter's next film, Escape From New York (1981).

Tom Atkins, a friend of Barbeau's, was cast as Nick Castle. The Fog was Atkins' first appearance in a Carpenter film, though he would also go on to appear in Carpenter's next film, Escape from New York, and Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1983), which was produced and scored by Carpenter.[6]

Jamie Lee Curtis, who was the main star of Carpenter's 1978 hit Halloween, appeared as Elizabeth. Commenting on the role and on appearing in another of Carpenter's films, she said "That's what I love about John. He's letting me explore different aspects of myself. I'm spoiled rotten now. My next director is going to be almost a letdown".[7]

Play on character names

Several characters in The Fog are named after people that Carpenter had collaborated with on previous films.

  • Dan O'Bannon is a screenwriter who worked with Carpenter on Dark Star (1974).
  • Nick Castle is the actor who played The Shape in Halloween (1978).
  • Tommy Wallace has worked with Carpenter as an editor, art designer, and sound designer on several of his films in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Richard Kobritz inspired the name of the character Mrs. Kobritz, and was the producer of Carpenter's 1978 TV movie Someone's Watching Me!

Although not named after a real person, Dr Phibes was named after the titular character in the horror films starring Vincent Price from the early 1970s.

Reception

The film was greeted with mixed reviews when it was initially released, but was a commercial success. Roger Ebert commented in his review that "This isn't a great movie but it does show great promise from Carpenter".[8] It is now generally considered to be, as Carpenter once called it, "a minor horror classic". Carpenter himself stated that this is not his overall favorite film due to re-shoots and low production values. This is one of the reasons he agreed to the 2005 remake (see below).

Novelization

In the same year as the movie was released, a novelization was published written by Dennis Etchison. The novel implies that the six who must die were not random but in fact descendants of the six original conspirators.

Cast

Actor Role
Adrienne Barbeau Stevie Wayne
Jamie Lee Curtis Elizabeth Solley
Janet Leigh Kathy Williams
John Houseman Mr. Machen
Tom Atkins Nick Castle
James Canning Dick Baxter
Charles Cyphers Dan O'Bannon
Nancy Loomis Sandy Fadel
Ty Mitchell Andy Wayne
Hal Holbrook Father Malone
John F. Goff Al Williams
George 'Buck' Flower Tommy Wallace
Darwin Joston Dr. Phibes
Rob Bottin Blake
John Carpenter Bennett

Remake

The film was remade under the direction of Rupert Wainwright with a screenplay by Cooper Layne and starring Tom Welling and Maggie Grace. Though based on the concept of Carpenter and Hill's original screenplay, the remake was made as a "teen horror film" and given a PG13 rating (the original film was rated R). Green-lit by Revolution Studios with just eighteen pages of script written, the film was almost universally panned for its poor script and acting. As of January 2006, the film has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 5%.

References

  1. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1007617-fog
  2. ^ Gilles Boulenger, John Carpenter Prince of Darkness, (Los Angeles, Silman-James Press, 2003), pp.116, ISBN 1-879505-67-3
  3. ^ Boulenger, pp. 115
  4. ^ Boulenger, pp. 118
  5. ^ Audio commentary by John Carpenter and Debra Hill in The Fog, 2002 special edition DVD.
  6. ^ MattFini's Halloween Top 10 Lists: Ghost Stories!
  7. ^ Paul Scanlon, 'THE FOG': A SPOOK RIDE ON FILM [1]; last accessed November 17, 2007
  8. ^ Roger Ebert, review of The Fog [2]; last accessed November 17, 2007

External links



Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

The Fog
by William Henry Davies
Information about this edition
From Foliage (1913)

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.

PD-icon.svg This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain). Flag of the United States.svg

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