In a Station of the Metro
by Ezra Pound
In a Station of the Metro Theme of Man and the Natural World
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
- Does the difference in rhythm between the first and the second lines signal a difference between man and nature?
- Does "wet, black bough" succeed in making the subway seem beautiful and mysterious, or does it just make the tree sound ugly?
- If you didn’t know that the poem was a haiku, would you think that the natural setting was necessarily Japanese or Asian?
- How does Pound’s use of metaphor unify man and nature in the poem?
Chew on This
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.