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In A Station Of The Metro

Ezra Pound

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Added by: jp
Supposedly it took Pound over a year to perfect this poem.

I don't know what that means.
Added by: Kara
Pound was in the Paris metro and was overcome by the beauty of all the faces around him (I think that's the story anyway). Soon after he wrote a 30ish line poem about it, which he then destroyed. About six months after that he wrote this version. I think he succeeded--he managed to capture the simplest but most elusive (verbally) beauty in a comparison to something just as simple yet just as complex. Think about how incredible Ansel Adams's "Rose and Driftwood" is...
Added by: adam bowen
the poem shows how a subway with numeruous people surrounding it looks like petals on a wet black bough
analysis of the poem
Added by: Apni_princess
Analysis of the poem:

The apparitions mean that these faces in the crowd are metaphorically dead. The faces in the crowd are expressionless, they don't belong there, they are fragments of humans. The metro symbolzises darkness, trapped, underground.

However, The second line involves petals which bloom in the spring: birth, and fall off in fall: death. The words wet, black, bough give us a depressed feeling. They are single syllabes and there is an alliteration of B sounding more harsh.

The main idea of the poem is that people are lost underground. To rebirth they have to get out of the train and come up. The train represents what stripped us of humanity ( machinery) the machinery turned us INTO ghost like human beings, hence the apparition of faces in the crowd.

Hope that helped :)
Analysis, Shalasis
Added by: C J Anselm
The above analysis is full of crap. Pound was an imagist, and was merely trying to capture the an impression in the most concise and powerful language he could. Thats it, and that is more than enough.
metro= metro
Added by: kim
i think that the main point that is being overlooked is WHY he chose to cut those 28-odd lines. he wanted to express the essence of the poem, and we should accept it as it is, rather than breaking it down analytically... besides, what good are opinions if they aren't our own?
Analysis of Apni_princess
Added by: Carlisle II
When AP says, "metaphorically dead", what is meant is the gradual disintegration of the modernity surrounding the womb-like state of said faces. The words, "dark, trapped, underground" lend to the preceeding clause an epansion of the Oedipal undercurrents. "Underground", for instance, means shrouded in the darkness of the uterus, and metaphorically dead.

The imagery of spring mentioned in the second paragraph is an allusion to Eliot's "The Waste Land", most specifically, "The Burial of the Dead" section. Compare the water of springtime (signifying lust, etc.) with the water of the womb.

Being lost in utero, AP notes that we must burst out, pheonix- like, thus escaping the karmic Oedipal temperament pervading our modern existance, hence our ghost like appearences.

Do not thank me.
Added by: mark
the essence of haiku is to express the flash of clarity that is sometimes felt in a moment , and to express it in an extremely brief form.

Clarity is blurred by length

remarkable clairvoyance
Added by: phil
"The imagery of spring mentioned in the second paragraph is an allusion to Eliot's "The Waste Land", most specifically, "The Burial of the Dead" section." - Carlisle II

Metro: 1911/12
Wasteland: 1922

I've always thought Ezra Pound's allusions were a bit obscure, but readers in 1913 must have been really confounded by this one.

Ignore Carlisle; Anselm got it right.
more about haiku
Added by: Mada
Definatly, and I'm sure alot of people would consider this a haiku (and before you go on talking about three lines and 5-7-5 sylabals, please read up on modern American haikus), I myself am one of them. Pound took heavily from oriental poetry, and like they said, the image speaks for itself, and its a big taosit and zen principle that by trying to break it down and tie it toa chair and beat it to find out what it means, read, and know, but don't say.

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