Two British poets, Wilfrid Gibson and W.H. Davies, both composed insightful poetry upon the subject of human vision. Gibson's "Sight" and Davies' "The Fog" have their similarities and differences. The two poems share much likeness through both their connotative and denotative contents, more specifically, the entry of the blind character, which was powerfully used to present a most effective conclusion and other components of the poems. As for differences, the more dominant variations come from literary devices such as imagery and atmosphere.
In each of the two poems, an identical character was shown, and that is the character of a blind man. Even though the situations varied, but a sightless man was, nevertheless, mentioned for the purpose of examining the stance of such a character in different dispositions. The use of a blind man was very effective as the poets now had the tool they needed to create emotional and powerful conclusions. For instance, in "Sight", the narrator of the poem was basking in the wonderful things he could see and enjoy due to his sight, which he perceived to be "God['s]…goodly gift" (7). This joyous flow of thoughts was interrupted, however, due to the sound of a blind man's stick hitting the ground. The cleverness of the poet is shown by the way the poem went no further after the entrance of the blind man, causing the reader and the narrator to reach the theme (as well as epiphany) that sight does not belong to everyone. "The Fog" was similar in the way that it concluded immediately after the readers discovered there was a blind man. Its effective ending also formed an epiphany, which is that some things should not be taken for granted. The man, who could see, took his vision for granted and didn't know his way around in darkness; yet, the blind man acknowledged his lack of sight and could find his way around in darkness.
There are plenty of differences in these two poems. The most notable contrasts would be imagery and atmosphere. "Sight" and "The Fog" both provide clear but different images. "Sight" presented vivid colours and picturesque imagery by the generous usage of similes and metaphors. Apples were compared to the grass of Paradise and oranges to Tyre's sunsets. Such realistic comparisons definitely paint a beautiful picture. In "The Fog", however, the image was completely turned about. The title of this poem suggests a grayish setting. This colourless feeling is carried throughout the poem by adjectives like "thick" and "black". This impression of darkness is further emphasized by the narrator's confusion:
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. (11-16)
Since imagery sometimes tends to influence the atmosphere in literature, the two poems are different in that perspective as well. Because "Sight" painted a brilliant picture full of colours and light, the atmosphere is carefree and cheerful. Also, the narrator was feeling blessed and extremely satisfied with all that he could see "for the heart's desire" (2). In "The Fog", the encircling of darkness and thick fog induces a sense of suffocation. The narrator seemed to feel the same:
It clutched my throat, I coughed;
Nothing was in my head
Except two heavy eyes
Like balls of burning lead. (5-8)
In conclusion, these two poems have many similarities and differences. The most prominent likeness would be the arrangement of the blind man. Not only is such a character effective for the conclusions of the poems, but he also provides the theme. The two poems share many differences as well, particularly the imagery and atmosphere. The imagery for "Sight" was most dazzling and its atmosphere was buoyant and light-hearted while "The Fog" was a perfect contrast -- dark and mysterious.
As much as they are different, or similar, these two poems can be established quite individually as superb works of literature.