Emma Rose Beigel, Hannah Bush, Ashleigh Chuang, Kerry Kapaku, Cloe Mathia, Stirling Matheson, Audrey Robson
In a Station of the Metro
The apparition of these faces in the crowd: Petals, on a wet, black bough.
In 1913, Ezra Pound published, In a Station of the Metro, inspired by an encounter as he exited a Paris metro train at La Concorde in 1911. Reflecting on the experience, he writes, “… and [I] saw suddenly a beautiful face, and then another and another, and then a beautiful child’s face, and then another beautiful woman, and I tried all that day to find words for what this had meant to me, and I could not find any words that seemed to me worthy, or as lovely as that sudden emotion. And that evening, as I went home along the Rue Raynouard, I was still trying and I found suddenly, the expression. I do not mean that I found words, but there came an equation . . . not in speech, but in little splotches of colour.” Over the next two years, Pound wrote a thirty-line poem, then revised it to half that length, and again revised it to the two lines above. The final product is what Pound calls a “one image poem”, with one idea superimposed over another. Pound writes “in a poem of this sort, one is trying to record the precise instant when a thing outward and objective transforms itself, or darts into a things inward and subjective.”
While drawing its inspiration from Pound’s poem, Platform Juncture is an introspection of the precise instant when a passing commuter is transformed from anonymity into the face of a vulnerable human being; yet, such moments are fleeting and at any time may be swept back up into the crowd, departing with the train leaving the station.
- Excerpts by Ezra Pound (from Gaudier-Brzeska, 1916).