In a Station of the Metro, by Ezra Pound

One month on and I’m still stuck on Ezra Pound. Actually love his poems at the moment.

In the Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

This is one of the shortest peoms I’ve read but so effective, evoking a sense of anonymity and ghostly faces in a crowd. How many times have we stood at a train or metro station and ignored the sea of faces around us? I think that in the third line he is trying to say that as he stands there, (he is writing on his experience at a metro in Paris), beautiful faces start appearing out of the crowd in this dark, cold station. Just like petals appearing on a ‘wet black bough.’ Petals on a flower are beautiful and they also look alike; maybe he is saying that everyone is the same and everyone is equally beautiful in this dark world where we can often feel isolated or anonymous. I’d like to think so anyway.

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