In a Station of the Metro
In a Station of the Metro
by Ezra Pound

Sound Check

Read this poem aloud. What do you hear?

We think this poem sounds like a tennis match. Now bear with us here. The poem consists of two lines that bring together the image of faces in the metro with the image of petals on the branch. It’s as if one side of the poem is serving the image to the other side, daring it to come up with an image to match. The first line even sounds much faster than the second – like a serve. Fortunately, the second line bangs a fitting image right back.

"The apparition of these faces in the crowd." Bang. There’s your 100 mph serve. "Petals on a wet, black bough." Bang. There’s the return. You can even hear the tennis ball bouncing to a stop at the end of the poem with those three monosyllabic words in a row: "wet, black bough." Bounce-bounce-bounce. Advantage, Pound.

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