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In A Station Of The Metro

Updated: May 22, 2021

The apparition of these faces in the crowd :

Petals on a wet , black , bough .


This is one of the quintessential imagist poems which gave a catalytic urge to imagery. Ezra Pound composed it in 1912 during his visit to an underground metro station in Paris .

This poem is of mere 14 words and if it includes the title Than 20 words . Imagists Emphasized on the economy of words and visual fixing is an important literary tool for them . In this poem there is no verb ." A Verb less Poetry " !

It is a break from the traditional pentameter , Pound deleted long poems to 14 words only by using visual spacing as poetic device and By experimenting with non traditional verse forms .

Her heart of poetry is not first or second line but a mental process that links two totally separate segments. Pound is trying to record the transformation of outward and objective moments into a thing totally inward and objective. Petals on a long stem of bough and a long line of crowds on metro stations looks similar ! In dimly lit stations blurred faces of crowds give an illusion of a ghost that all Pound want to say through " apparition "..

Wet could be metal of the train and black indicates dark. Here assonance between crowd and bough could be also felt .

Pound told " an invention of single strong imagery is more important than a bundle of voluminous work ".

Ezra Pound was born on 30 Nov 1885 in Hailey ,North America.He relished the bliss of a single child as there were no siblings .In latter years he went to Europe and after returned to London .In england he became an ardent supporter of modernism.

He was an ardent fan of WB Yeats and bestowed him with the title of the greatest living poet . After initial flinges he became acquainted with Olivia Shakespeare , lover of WB Yeats . Later pound married to Dorothy Shakespeare ,daughter of Olivia .After marriage he developed a romantic relationship with a violinist Olga Rudge . Love triangle continued to his last days.

Not only personal but political views were also weird enough.

A staunch supporter of Hitler and Mussolini.

He praised Hitler's autobiography Mein Kamf , took an antisematic stance by calling "Jew Slim'' and parroted Fascists. During the second world war he broadcasted his views ideas on Rome Radio and that resulted in his arrest in charge of treason. In America he was kept in mental asylum ,for insane behavior for 12 years .

Pound abandoned imagery around 1914 , in clamorous way in the name of another doctrine ,which he named " vorticism "

Vorticist poetry focuses on locating the movement and stillness within the image .

One of the most amusing facts is that a staunch supporter of Hitler and Mussolini was also a follower of great chinese philosopher Confucius and translated his many preachings .

On his 87th birthday 30 October 1972 he was too weak to leave his bedroom. He died just after two days ,his lover Olga was by his side .

Copyright@ Dr Pragya Suman

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