Category Archives: Ezra Pound

Ezra Pound

Two versions of one of Pound’s best-known pieces:

In a Station of the Metro

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

— Ezra Pound

Yes, the earlier version of the poem is really supposed to be formatted like this. (Here’s how it was originally published in Poetry in April 1913.)

Here’s how it was published in Pound’s Personae:

In a Station of the Metro

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

— Ezra Pound

Pound on the process of writing this poem: “I wrote a thirty-line poem, and destroyed it because it was what we call work ‘of second intensity.’ Six months later I made a poem half that length; a year later I made [this] hokku-like sentence.”

Here’s more commentary on this poem.

Which version do you think is better?

More background, and other poems:

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