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  1. Poems May 25, 2012

  2. Ezra Pound(1885-1972) In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd;petals on a wet, black bough.

  3. This is an Imagist poem by Ezra Pound published in 1913 in the literary magazine Poetry. In the poem, Pound describes a moment in the underground metro station in Paris in 1912; Pound suggested that the faces of the individuals in the metro were best put into a poem not with a description but with an "equation".

  4. The word "apparition" alone means a ghostly figure (and strong vision), something strange or unusual that suddenly comes into view. Pound may have seen different faces in a Paris subway and defined the "faces in the crowd" with the illustration of pure beauty or images of flawless human beings. The reason for formulating such assertion is because of this: with the meaning and usage of the word apparition, it enables Pound to convey the expression of shock and awe once he steps into the metro station. It's almost as if he discovers the faces in the crowd surprisingly. More important, he may have not seen the faces clearly and saw only a blur that he interpreted as a vision of attractiveness.

  5. Petals are image of delicate and feminine beauty. Additionally, petals are flowers that come in various shades, sizes, shapes, and so forth – akin to human beings. Therefore, Pound perhaps envisioned the people in the crowd as beautiful, for the diversity they embodied. By linking human faces, a synecdoche for people themselves, with petals on a damp bough, the poet calls attention to both the elegance and beauty of human life, as well as its transience.

  6. “a wet, black bough” is another image, to constitute a contrast with colorful petals, and also to highlight the later. Thus, Pound takes the two words and morphs them together as one to get a greater  visual effect, meaning that when he saw mysterious faces in the crowd with various colors and shapes, it was a good-looking sight in his eyes. The poem shows that whatever color, size, or shape a person is, he or she still has some characteristics of beauty – regardless of his/her outer appearance. SInce people in the metro station come and go pretty fast the topic conveys a sense of transience.

  7. Robert Frost (1874-1963) Pulitzer Prize winner (4 times) for poetry Highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes.

  8. General criticism Robert Frost, along with Stevens and Eliot, seems to me the greatest of the American poets of this century. Frost's virtues are extraordinary. No other living poet has written so well about the actions of ordinary men; his wonderful dramatic monologues or dramatic scenes come out of a knowledge of people that few poets have had, and they are written in a verse that uses, sometimes with absolute mastery, the rhythms of actual speech. It is hard to overestimate the effect of this exact, spaced-out, prosaic movement, whose objects have the tremendous strength. . .of things merely put down and left to speak for themselves. . .

  9. Frost's seriousness and honesty; the bare sorrow with which, sometimes, things are accepted as they are, neither exaggerated nor explained away; the many, many poems in which there are real people with their real speech and real thought and real emotion—all this, in conjunction with so much subtlety and exactness. . .makes the reader feel that he is not in a book but a world. . .When you know Frost's poems, you know surprisingly well what the world seemed to one man. The grimness and awfulness, and untouchable sadness of things, both in the world and in the self, have justice done to them in the poems. . .but no more justice than is done to the tenderness and love and delight; and everything in between is respresented somewhere too.

  10. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. The Road Not Taken(1916)

  11. four stanzas of iambic tetrameter To take the “less-traveled by”, the more difficult “(It involvesthe) human tendency to wobble illogically in decision and later to assume that the decision was, after all, logical and enormously important, but forever to tell of it 'with a sigh' as depriving the speaker of who-knows-what interesting experience" (Eleanor Sickels). Frost replied in a letter, "It was my rather private jest at the expense of those who might think I would yet live to be sorry for the way I had taken in life.“ The speaker of the poem as "one who habitually wastes energy in regretting any choice made: belatedly but wistfully he sighs over the attractive alternative rejected” (Lawrance Thompson)

  12. Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village, though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year. He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound's the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (1923)