In a Station of the Metro

by Ezra Pound

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Examine what's missing in this writing. In your opinion, is it a complete poem? If so, how are we to read it that is, comprehend meaning in it?

The above answers do not get to the heart of what is wrong with this poem, which is its use of clichéd language. The first answer, however, does point to a problem with the rhythm and meter of the poem. The second answer shows that the meaning of this poem is not particularly complex or interesting. The third answer notes that there is nothing missing from this poem at all because it is meant to be an example of Imagist poetry. However, one can take issue with this last statement by pointing out that Pound's goal in writing Imagist poetry was to be precise and descriptive (as a photographer would be in capturing a moment in time), but he fails miserably at depicting anything other than a generic metro scene.

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Ezra Pound was a Modernist poet. The poem "In a Station of the Metro" is considered to be an Imagist poem. An Imagist poem, brought to the forefront of poetics in the 1920's, was poetry which depicted precise imagery and clear language.

The poem "In a Station of the Metro" is the quintessential Imagist poem. The poem depicts the honesty of precise words and nothing more. The poem, itself, is a sort of snapshot. Written recalling a brief moment in time, the poem describes a picture of a Paris metro during the 1920's.

Therefore, the poem, when looked at from the point of its form (Imagist), is not missing anything at all. The meaning of the poem is simplistic: a picture of life, a snapshot, a moment of time captured in poetic form.

One must understand how Pound wrote and what he meant to depict in his poetry. The poem is simple and concise, as was the moment in time Pound is detailing.


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