When we read poems, we don’t exactly interpret the meaning of it automatically. It takes us a shot, or two, or three to fully understand the meaning of it or at least have your own interpretation. In the poem In a Station of the Metro, written by Ezra Pound, one of the themes that are presented is modernization. Nowadays, the metro isn’t the place where people want to be because of its lousy appearance, the people seem a little odd for others, and in other words people don’t like taking it because we all have the mentality that something bad will happen.
In the next few paragraphs, it will explain detail by detail how certain literary elements are used and relate to the theme. Everything we read has a mood to put us in while we read whether it’d be comical, depressing, or even mysterious. The poem’s mood is profound. Why is this poem so profound? Well for one, with only 2 sentences there are only so much that we can uncover about a poem. A perfect example to back up the fact that this poem is profound is the title.
We all think that the title isn’t as important as the rest of the poem but in this one it is because without it, nobody would be able to figure out the real meaning since no one will know what the writer wrote about. For example, without the title, it can be a performer looking at the audience waiting, looking like petals on a branch just sitting there waiting for seasons to change, meaning for the performer to go up. Profound moods and modernization come together because when you think about something in general, sometimes you try discovering a new meaning to it.
In the poem, we see a clear indication that with the only two sentences there are, we are supposed to come up with our own meaning. What the author did was probably for us readers to decode our own meaning of the poem by just writing 2 sentences. Because the mood is so profound, it’s very relevant to modernization because in the modern world, we find that metros are filled with angry people pushing, dirty floors and walls. The author is basically telling us that we are still the same people just on a dirty metro, as well reminding us to be calm and think of ourselves as flowers on a branch.
What we see and what we actually interpret are two different things. Not everything is what it seems to be. Another element used is comparisons. To compare something means to take something and make it seem like something else. In the poem, the poet describes “faces in the crowd” as “petals on a wet, black bough” because in a crowd, it’s easy to pick out different faces because everyone is different. Everyone has a unique look and since the poet is picking out faces in a crowd, it could be a comparison to picking out petals, off a stem or a bough, one by one as if each petal was an individual face.
Imagery can also be linked with the topic of comparisons because every sentence has a different meaning that can be linked to each other in a way that we can imagine it. Usually a metro is hectic, nobody really wants to be in it especially at rush hour, but what the poet is trying to do is remind us that within our environment around us are serenity and peace in ourselves that we have to think of. Petals from flowers are very delicate and the poet tells us that if it’s hectic on the metro or anywhere else, there is always peace to think of, like the flowers.
These elements are relevant to the theme because nowadays, people tend to judge before they think twice. In the poem for example, if the people weren’t reminded that there is peace and serenity within themselves, then they’d think their society is a bad place. Is there such thing as nonsense? Is a pile of nonsense put together supposed to make sense? In the poem, the last two elements presented are effective line breaks and ambiguity.
To be ambiguous means to be vague, and the poem really shows the vagueness in the effective line breaks. Every line in the poem is a different sentence, irrelevant to the others. The first sentence would have to be the title, “In a Station of the Metro”. This is an incomplete sentence and with the others that come, it still makes no sense. The second sentence is “The apparition of these faces in a crowd;”, still an incomplete sentence because there’s a verb that needs to come into play for it to be complete and make sense.
And the last sentence of the poem is “Petals on a wet, black bough”; this as well is an incomplete sentence simply just a description. But if everything is put together, this is where ambiguity and as well imagery comes in. The fact that everything is so vague and that after every sentence there’s a break, it could subliminally mean that everything is meant to be put together like a puzzle. When the sentences are put together, it tells us that within a crowd of people on a metro, everyone is unique like petals on a bough.
Even if something is ambiguous, there is always a way to figure out some meaning for it. This is related to modernization because like imagery, we don’t perceive things for what they are right away so it’s very vague, then after figuring out what it could mean or be; everything would make sense. To conclude, modernization has changed the way we think as the years go by, we all have different points of view now and we judge before we think things through.
In the poem, using all the elements like mood, imagery, comparisons, ambiguity and use of effective line breaks, they all had some relevance towards the theme which was modernization. Things have changed since the earlier years. Back then, no one judged right away, everyone was just living. Now that we have new technology and such, it makes us closed minded because technology told made us believe that the real world sucks. The poem made me realize that there is more to the world than what we can actually physically see. Sometimes what we see isn’t exactly what we think it is.