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In a Station of the Metro

In a Station of the Metro

by Ezra Pound

Man and the Natural World Theme

In the poem, people and nature literally become one as the faces in the subway become flowers on a tree. The analogy between faces and flowers is not just a simile, which would say that one thing is "like" another. Rather, it is metaphor: the poem implies that the faces are petals on a tree.

Questions About Man and the Natural World

  1. Does the difference in rhythm between the first and the second lines signal a difference between man and nature?
  2. Does "wet, black bough" succeed in making the subway seem beautiful and mysterious, or does it just make the tree sound ugly?
  3. If you didn’t know that the poem was a haiku, would you think that the natural setting was necessarily Japanese or Asian?
  4. How does Pound’s use of metaphor unify man and nature in the poem?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The poem isn’t trying to make the subway seem like a natural setting. It’s trying to create a fictional space where both natural and unnatural settings can co-exist.

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