Metro: Paris by Ezra Pound (Analysis)

ezra pound poem metro translation summary review analysis

The inhuman, unhygienic, and mechanical life of modern civilization is the theme of the poem. People become lifeless, thoughtless, and directionless in big cities. A glance at the faces of the people traveling in the underground railway of Paris shows that they are just like the petals losing their bloom on the boughs which are wet in the absence of sunlight throughout the day and which are black in the presence of a polluted atmosphere.

The crowd has no contact with Nature; their faces are repulsive due to boredom and artificiality. The poet deftly depicts the monotonous life of the passengers sitting in the metro. The passengers have no individual entity. They are the same as the wet petals of a tree have no separate existence. The petals are the parts of the whole of a tree; the passengers are also the part of a crowd. They are heading as a whole of a crowd towards their destiny. Every man is for himself as he mechanically moves towards his destination for his own purpose. Human traits like love, sympathy, and sacrifice have lost their meanings for him.

Explanation with Reference to the Context

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

These lines have been taken from the poem “Metro: Paris” composed by Ezra Pound. She depicts the monotonous routine of urban people who travel through the underground railway stations. The poet deftly depicts the monotonous life of the passengers sitting in the metro. The passengers have no individual entity. It is the same as the wet petals of a tree. They suffer a spiritual vacuum. And, they are never at ease and peace. They are always enmeshed in inner groans having no catharsis. So, they behave like an etherized patient means conscious of something but conscion of nothing.

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