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Ezra Pound - "In a Station of The Metro"

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Ludka Koskova

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of Ezra Pound - "In a Station of The Metro"

Ezra Pound - "In a Station of The Metro"
Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (1885-1972)
American expatriate poet and critic of the early modernist movement

advocated a poetry stripped of all nonessential elements, where every word makes a necessary contribution to the poem

words should be “charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree”

one of his important contributions to poetry: Imagism

inspired by such verse forms as Japanese haiku

Japanese Haiku
The Poem
supposed organization on a page:

“In a Station of the Metro.”
The apparition of these faces in the crowd:
Petals on a wet, black bough.
a movement in early 20th-century Anglo-American poetry
first organized Modernist literary movement in the English language
precision of imagery and clear, sharp language, a willingness to experiment with non-traditional verse forms
attempt to isolate a single image to reveal its essence -Cubism
one of the most influential visual art styles of the early twentieth century
objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form
subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context
created by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) and Georges Braque (French, 1882–1963) in Paris between 1907 and 1914
Pound: juxtaposing concrete instances to express an abstraction = Cubism: synthesizing multiple perspectives into a single image
Pound considers his “one image poem” as “a form of superposition, that is to say ... one idea set on top of another” (Sullivan 1970, p. 53),
The Ideogrammic Method

Chinese influence
Chinese character for 'East' = a superposition of the characters for 'tree' (木) and 'sun' (日); that is, a picture of the sun tangled in a tree's branches, suggesting a sunrise (which occurs in the East).
concepts are built up from concrete instances, the (abstract) concept of 'red' might be presented by putting together the (concrete) pictures of:


This was a key idea in the development of Imagism.
Imagery, in a literary text, is an author's use of vivid and descriptive language to add depth to their work. It appeals to human senses to deepen the reader's understanding of the work.

There are seven types of imagery, each corresponding to a human sense, feeling, or action:

Visual imagery pertains to sight, and allows you to visualize events or places in a work.
Auditory imagery pertains to a sound. This kind of imagery often comes in the form of onomatopoeia.
Olfactory imagery pertains to an odor.
Gustatory imagery pertains to a taste.
Tactile imagery pertains to a texture or sensation of touch.
Kinesthetic imagery pertains to movement, or an action.
Organic imagery pertains to feelings of the body, including hunger, thirst, and fatigue.[1]
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