Ezra Pound

’s “In The Station Of Hte Metro” Essay, Research Paper

Ezra Pound s use of imagery, alliteration, and assonance in the poem In a Station of the Metro depicts a scene of people s faces in a dark crowded subway station in Paris. It is through this scene that Pound is able to uncover to the reader that no matter how dark and subterranean the environment, the people that dwell within it still remain beautiful and pleasant.

The title, In a Station of the Metro, reveals the setting right from the beginning. The poem begins, The apparition of these faces in the crowd; (656). The word apparition in this first line has a dreamlike effect on the rest of the line. Pound uses this precisely to create a scene of faces rushing by, almost dreamlike because of the suddenness of it. This suggests that perhaps Pound is aboard the train perceiving the faces that are on the platform of the subway station. As the poem continues, Pound uses the word crowd to bring sound to the first line. The sounds of a crowd bring life to the faces. Life can be associated with beauty, which retains a position in the meaning of the poem.

The second line reads as follows, Petals on a wet, black, bough (656). Read alone, this line without sound or any meaning without the first line. A semicolon, though, connects the two ideas into one grand one. Pound uses the word petals because of the association it has with beauty. He wants to bring beauty to the faces of the crowd. Pound also uses assonance with petals, and the word metro. This enhances the meaning of the poem in that it creates an aura; meaning beauty fills the subway station. Beauty, of course, is the quality the faces in the crowd posses. The words wet, black, and bough symbolize the dark context of the subway. Pound s use of alliteration in this line with the

words black and bough brings sound to an otherwise quiet line of poetry. He does this to further emphasize the contrast between beauty and darkness.

With his use of such literary tools as imagery, alliteration, and assonance, Pound communicates a distinct theme to the reader. Despite how uninviting, dark, or cold an environment can be, people remain beautiful. Pound identified this beauty in his experience on a train in a subway station.

Pound, Ezra. In a Station of the Metro. Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Eds.

Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen Mandell. Fort Worth: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. 1991. 656


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