The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ezra Pound's poem In A Station Of The Metro


  1. Andrew says:


  2. Sheryl Skoglund says:

    “The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
    Petals on a wet, black bough”.
    The poet is saying the apparition of their faces is in the faces of the crowd. They are us and we are them. Petals on a flooded earth in a black death tree.

  3. Troy Legato says:

    Ezra Pound achieves more in two lines than a loser like Daniel Schoch will ever achieve in his miserable little life. You really think this poem is “Gay,” cupcake? What a creative critique. What are you, a 6th grader?

  4. shosho ali says:

    im really like this poem alhtough im hating poetry

  5. Jamie Smith says:

    Daniel Schoch: Maybe you should check your facts. Ezra Pound is a MAN not a WOMAN!!!

  6. Daniel Schoch says:


  7. alanna says:

    When i read this poem i see Pound retelling the tale of Persephone and Hades/Pluto. Persephone is trapped in hell with apparitions or ghosts all around her in a crowd. When she is gone all the plants stop growing and die. (her mother, Demeter, is the goddess of vegetation and when she is sad nothing grows) Then she comes back up to earth and with her return, there is the first petal on a wet, black bough.

    ezra Pound is really just retelling the story of Persephone and Pluto.

  8. Rob Cameron says:

    When I read this I find myself imagining I’m at a wake. I put myself in the perspective of the recently departed staring out at the onlooking crowd of mourners. The petals and bough are both part of the floral surroundings brought in memory, the wetness naturally from tears.

  9. StevieWonder says:

    What do u ppl see in this poem that is interesting? This is a measely 2 lines that if I wrote in 2nd grade, my teacher would yell at me

  10. Celeste says:

    This is my all time favorite poem. Pound’s poignant writing evokes so much emotion. Another poet that wrote almost during the same era was William Carlos Williams, The Red Wheel Barrow and some of his other poetry use their short seemingly trivial words to paint a picture of a much more emotive quality than email or response we write here. W.C.Williams has a poem that was derived from an apologetic note he wrote his wife about eating some plums she had been saving. A moment of day to day life puts forth so much beauty that it’s hard for us to see, but Pound shows that he can find it, even among the drab commuters in the Metro station.

  11. Frank says:

    tomorrow I’m gonna have a test in this ugly poem

    struggling to make up.

  12. Betty says:

    When I read it closing my eyes and got these feelings:
    Time was stopped.And these faces was trapped in this very motionless space.Tose faces come from the places I never know and they will go to a place I will not know.In a society with quicken social mobility,these faces seems to be strangers I once familar with.It contains a feeling of uncertainty.But at the same time,those faces are so beautiful like “Petals on a wet,black bough”,and I’m lost in the very cross as if many souls are moving towards evere directions carried wiyh their different dreans,cultures,ideas,enmotions and so on.I just watch and wonder”Where shoud I go?”.Slowly these faces fade like flowers,finally disapper,then go to a death.I feel deperate and be astonished about the beauty built on death.

  13. Chris says:

    I’ve written several poems myself of this style by using intense imagery. You can actually read the title as a line; it works perfectly. Imagine when everyone wore black suits and had white faces. This poem is dead on.

    To Comment 45, keep in mind the apparition is not the contrast, so much as the portrayal of all the faces. They might not be contrasting, and in my opinion, probably not contrasting with each other so much as the background bough.

  14. Ignatius says:

    Pound the genius shines forth in this epigram. Like JM Coetzee said, a world of feeling can be compressed into one line. for a full representation of Pound, read the Cantos (with the help of Kenner’s books).

  15. N_I_K_K_I says:

    this poem is okayy i have read better tho.

  16. Zen says:

    I think this is a great nice and short poem. Btw for those who cant understand it, cmon what u talking about? “Apparition of these faces in the crowd”=the contrast of the faces in the crowd, must be talking about color. What sort of contrast? Now think about “petals, on a wet black bough” and it’s easy to imagine what kind of faces on what kind of background. Not only the color, I bet the faces ‘ve gotta be beautiful too (adding its contrast to the bg) it will look even prettier. Like petals on wet black bough indeed.

    so much for just two lines.

  17. Dustin says:

    How would you all inturpret the poem if Pound was actually on the train if it had been entering the station?

  18. Sharon says:

    I think this was a pretty good poem, though short. It provides us with good imagery.

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