In a Station of the Metro

by Ezra Pound
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What is the comparison Pound makes in poem "In a Station of the Metro"? What is he trying to accomplish with that comparison? In your opinion, has Pound succeeded in creating an "exact visual image" that makes "a total poetic statement"? Support your answer with references to the poem.

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In the poem "In a Station of the Metro," Pound makes a comparison between faces in a crowd and petals on a wet, black tree branch.

What he's trying to accomplish with this comparison is to give us an exact visual image that will make us look at both the crowd of faces and the tree branch in a different way.

As a leading proponent of the school of poetry called Imagism, Pound strives to give us a precise image written in language that people can readily understand. One could argue that in "In a Station of the Metro," Pound succeeds admirably in this endeavor, not least because the poem consists of only two lines.

The shortness of the poem forces us to concentrate on the images presented and encourages us to see them in our mind's eye. "In a Station of the Metro" does what all good poems should do and stimulates our imagination.

What is particularly effective about the poem is that it fuses two separate realms of reality together, the subjective impression of the poet and the objective world of the crowd of faces making its way to a crowded subway station.

The poet takes a normal scene from everyday life and, with the use of his imagination, transforms it into a striking image of petals on a wet, black bough. In doing so, he gives us a synthesis of the subjective and the objective, and it is this that makes for a complete poetic statement.

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