In a Station of the Metro
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The Explication of Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro”
Ezra Pound’s words portray a moment frozen in time. The poem, “In a Station of the Metro,” is a poem of imagery. Through imagery, Pound imbues his vision and thoughts of his surroundings while on a subway train.
Pound’s title, “In a Station of the Metro,” sets the stage to allow the reader to visualize a “… dark, cold, wet…”(p657) subway station. Pound uses these words to set the ambiance. He puts the reader at the station watching “the apparition of these faces in the crowd”(1). The word “apparition” takes away the identity of the peoples’ faces as what seems like a train speeding by and blurring the faces of the awaiting passengers. Yet Pound does allow the reader to notice the faces that he sees by giving a select few form, hence, “Petals on a wet, black bough”(2).
The author uses “Petals” to relate to the faces that he notices in the amorphous crowd from the “bough” which he relates to the train. Pound uses “Petals” which signify beauty and delicacy, an object spawned from the sun and places them in the “wet, black bough” which relates to subjects of a subterranean plane, a place that is void of sun which is indicative of a subway station. The word “black” used by Pound describes the conditions of the subway. Words associated with black used in this context are indicative of places that are of little law, unknown dangers or catastrophic events (i.e. Black Plague, Black Monday). By placing fragile “petals” in to what seems as a harsh environment, the beauty of the faces that he sees is magnified by the unpleasant surroundings.
Pound writes this poem to share his experience at the subway station from his perspective. His concise grasp of imagery gives the reader every detail and nuance to completely immerse the imagination in his reality. In whole, Pound’s poem creates an image from...
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