D’s Poetry : Haiku 29 : Ezra Pound

D’s Poetry is a living archive of all poetry penned by me, Divvya Nirula. Join me on this journey today as we discuss Ezra Pound and his poetry and Haiku.

“The autumn leaves fall
The hibernation begins
Squirrel don’t forget.”

Divvya Nirula

Ezra Pound & the Modern Haiku

When Haiku was popularised internationally, many international poets adopted this structure of poetry as their own. However, western Haiku was a little different than its original Japanese counterparts. Poets could now write short verses in English and call them Haiku. Some of these were based on nature-themes and some were not. Further, most did not necessarily adhere to the 5-7-5 rule. And so, many new forms of Haiku were born.

Ezra Pound was a proponent of the modern Haiku. He grew up in Hailey, Idaho. And spend a few years studying at University of Pennsylvania, before transferring to Hamilton College, New York. An aspiring poet, in 1908, Pound moved to Venice. At the time, he had very little to his name. But he was determined to make his mark. That same year he published A Lume Spento, a collection of his poetry.

A few years later, in 1913, Pound penned what is arguably on of his most famous poems. It was entitled ‘In a Station of Metro’. Written in a short-verse style, the poem resembled a Japanese Haiku. Here it is for your reading pleasure.

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

‘In a Station of Metro’, 1913, by Ezra Pound

Pound’s poem is a little different than Haiku, not only in structure, but also subject matter. While the poem does reference nature, it alludes to an urban setting – that of a metro station. I personally love this verse and its ability to simultaneously conjure imagery of the natural world and that which is man-made. Can you spot the differences between this poem and haiku?

You are invited along on this journey of discovery and writing. For more poetry and verse by Divvya Nirula, please visit the archive for D’s Poetry.