the music that echoes between two bodies at a certain distance from one another
Crowdy rain
Author: Pierre Beautemps
Published on: 5/30/2015 7:20:37 PM



In a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;

Petals on a wet, black bough.

— Ezra Pound 
 

A famous and beautiful poem. A classic « Imagist » work. Nevertheless there are not only images, but also a metaphor. Let’s have a look.

A long-drawn-out metaphor (“métaphore filée” in my mother tongue, French) works like a go-between. Between two fields, it jumps from the first to the second, and again back and forward, and again, like sewing a seam or stiches. As a long-drawn-out metaphor, In a Station of the Metro would have been something like:

The crowd is a wet, black bough; 

Faces appear in the crowd, like petals.

When we read In a Station of the Metro, there is no long-drawn-out metaphor but something else, I suggest to call it a “parallel metaphor” (everybody is invited to send a better name of course). A “parallel metaphor” explores extensively one field (in this example: the metro) and at the end, jumps for good and explores the second field in a parallel and proportional way (here: the tree).

Where does a “parallel metaphor” comes from? Perhaps we can understand something of the deep influence of the haiku on the Imagist group?

AJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJARAJAR