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Comment 32 of 172, added on October 31st, 2005 at 7:20 AM.
As far as I know, this poem is the reduction of a very much longer one;
that's perhaps the reason why it is that short and why the term haiku
doesn't seem to fit really...Pound seemed to have put a rather "complex"
feeling or impression into the shortness of its moment-length.
Comment 31 of 172, added on October 11th, 2005 at 7:07 PM.
The poem is in fact three lines long in this context. The title is the
first line--at least that's what I've been told since haiku do not have
individual titles. This is not a traditional haiku either since it does
not fit into the 5-7-5 syllable scheme. I think it gives this haiku much
more freedom. This seems to me to be very characteristic of Pound. As for
the meaning, I wouldn't suggest trying too hard to interperet it. The
meaning has great depth, but is not meant to be too elusive to the reader.
I feel that the "petals" refer to the shortness of life which can be
connected to "apparition"--an illusion, or vision that can be fleeting--and
to the length of the poem. "Petals" is plural, which shows that there is
no particular individual being described in this poem. "Apparition" is
singular, which unites the "faces" into one single body. It gives the
feeling of conformity to these faces. In a way, the figures described at
the Metro are conformed and lack individuality--walking ghosts. The petals
described in the last line are revealed to be individualists. It is
interesting. There seems to be restriction in urban society and freedom in
nature. The haiku is not a joining of two similar subjects, but it is a
comparison of two unlike subjects in this case. At least, this is what I
can gather from the haiku.
TjB from United States
Comment 30 of 172, added on October 6th, 2005 at 8:33 AM.
this is a gorgeous poem. yes it is a poem. length is not a qualifying
characteristic of poetry. i've seen one line poems. and it was quite
effective. (my poetry professor saw one that was only a title.) poetry is
creating art, just with words. paper and words are a poet's media.
for those of you who hate it and think it has no meaning, look past the
black ink on the pages. there is a meaning woven between and into the
words. its there. i can feel it.
Comment 29 of 172, added on September 29th, 2005 at 9:15 AM.
I agree with the haters, this poem was weak ... two weak ass lines cant
really be a good poem. what was he thinking, was he high? The poem didnt
even ryhme or make sense... for those of you who think this poem is really
good, u must be some kind of loser...
Comment 28 of 172, added on September 28th, 2005 at 12:53 PM.
After reading all the comments that ppl left for this poem i still dont
even get it. How the hell can u get so much from 2 little lines??? In a
couple minutes me and my partner Andrew have to explain this crappy poem to
the class and we dont have a clue as what to say!!!
Karen from United States
Comment 27 of 172, added on September 15th, 2005 at 4:41 PM.
If you think the poem "sucks" and there's no meaning, read it again, and
read between the lines. Pound is simply telling his audience to stop and
smell the roses. That's why it's so short; it doesn't need to be any
longer. Originally the poem was 40 lines and he cut it down to two, because
those two lines were the "essence" of the poem. Then again, you could
probably pick this poem apart so much that you find about 1, 000, 000
Geoff from Canada
Comment 26 of 172, added on August 24th, 2005 at 8:18 PM.
It seems to me that no one has yet tumbled to the true meaning of this
poem. Pound specifically says the "apparition" of faces....in short, the
faces in total combine to make an apparition. This apparition is, of
course, the future spector of Death....i.e., the "petals" on the "black
bough," with the black bough being Death itself. Way to go, Pound!
from United States
Comment 25 of 172, added on August 18th, 2005 at 4:41 PM.
Pound cleverly states where the poem is taking place. The meaning I take
from the poem is a deep one. “The apparition of these faces in the crowd;”
perhaps he is simply stating as we walk the earth or in this case a bus
station we don’t pay attention. Most people keep to themselves in a bus
station not wanting to call attention or looking into anyone’s eyes. So
people become ghost, an apparition because we are seeing faces, but not
really acknowledging anyone. Perhaps, “petals on a wet, black bough,” are
the feet of people walking, on the dark pavement and the wetness is from
the steam of the train.
To me the entirety of the poem means we don’t pay attention to “strangers”
instead of giving a courteous nod or wave, we look without seeing and we
all become apparitions in a crowd.
Jennifer from United States
Comment 24 of 172, added on July 28th, 2005 at 11:17 AM.
I am on the same ground with Danzig (comment #16), with one difference. The
"wet, black bough" may be the impression of a rain-drenched crowd instead
of the dark subway station. The connection from people's faces to petals is
masterful in that it calls up a storm of feelings and senses.
Lang Le from United States
Comment 23 of 172, added on July 5th, 2005 at 6:21 AM.
this poem was inspired by traditional japanese haikus but it is adapted to
express the alienation of modern society...I hope it will bring me luck at
my exam next saturday!!
sara from Italy
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