Wetland Figures

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads – April Poems – Day 27
In a Station of the Metro  (posted by Toni)

Today is the 27th of the NAPOWRIMO! Only three more days until the end. Some of us are starting to look a little bedraggled and tired but still we press on. To help us towards the end, I give you a poem prompt by no less than Ezra Pound; it is about … The Big End, so to speak.

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

“To say it is brief is one thing, to say it is breathtaking and thought provoking is yet another thing. In two lines Pound gives us a vision of ghosts – the faces whipping past us in the stroboscopic light and he gives us a vision of the after world. The subway car becomes Charon’s boat rowing the dead across the River Styx. He also gives us a feel of mono no aware (mo*no no ah*wah* ray) – the Japanese words for “sadness or wistfulness at the passing of things”- the seasons, leaves rotting, the last sip of tea, the kiss before dying. The Japanese have written literally millions of poems about cherry blossoms – all the with the tang of mono no aware mixed in with the sweetness of the blossoms and their inevitable brief life and death.

Your prompt for 27th day of NAPOWRIMO: Write a two line poem in which you convey some startling image, an image that juxtaposes two images. That is all. Make is stark, make it beautiful, make it heartbreaking, make it full of humor. The choice is yours.”



Wetland Figures

White-headed cattails growing in wetlands
old men stooped and bowing






About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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10 Responses to Wetland Figures

  1. kanzensakura says:

    I love the imagist poetry. You totally gave this poem the appearance of old men and cattails!


  2. My favourite of all the responses….this is WONDERFUL!!!!!


  3. I can see him in those cattails


  4. I can feel just how tired he is. Great combination of words and image.


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