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