Autumn Metro Paris & Fog by Carl Sandburg | Images and impressions Poem

Autumn Metro Paris & Fog by Carl Sandburg

Autumn Metro Paris & Fog by Carl Sandburg

Images and impressions comprise three short poems; autumn, Metro Paris, and For by Carl Sandburg. Here in this post, some important topics covered are; about the poet, summary of poem, explanation, and important questions answers.
 

Images and impressions

Imagism takes its origin in the early 20th-century Anglo-American poetry. it was a movement in poetry that focussed on the precision of imagery and sharp, clear language. Imagism movement is to be thought the first organized literary movement in English Literature.
It rejected the features sentiments and discursiveness of Romantic and Victorian
Poetry. Imagists returned to the classical values like correctness of presentation, the economy of language, and willingness to experiment with non-traditional verse form. Imagists used free verse in their poetry.
 
Imagism poetry appeared between 1914 to 1917. There were many prominent poets who wrote imagism poetry. It includes Ezra Pound, H. D (Hilda Doolittle), Amy Lowell, Ford Madox Ford, Willaim Carlos Williams, F.S Flint, and T.E.Hulme.
 
Imagism poetry takes its origin from the two poems of T.E Hulme who published his two poems in 1909 by the poets club in London.

1. Autumn By T.E. Hulme

About the poet

Thomas Ernest Hulme (1883-1917) was an English critic and poet who through his writings on art, literature, and politics, had a notable influence on modernism.

Main Idea of the Poem 

In this poem, the poet has given a graphic picture of an autumn night. The poet was deeply impressed by the autumn night. He felt a little cold. He went out of his house for a leisure walk. He imagined that the red moon looked like a healthy red-faced farmer bending over a hedge to have a talk with him.
 
He also observed that near the moon, there were sad stars that looked like the children of the city. He did not stop there for a long time and returned to his home. The basic subject matter and theme of the poem are based on natural beauty.
 
In this poem, the poet compares city life with village life. The cities of which we are so proud, are polluted. In comparison, villages still have some freshness. The poet concludes that a loud voice has polluted the environment.
 
The poem is full of natural images; like a ruddy moon in the sky, walking outside the house, red-faced farmer, wistful stars, white faces are familiar words. These words create romantic images.
 
The poem is written in a simple style with rhythmic words. The poet has made free good use of figurative language. The poem is written in a free-verse style. The poet has used simile in this poem. For example, the ruddy moon is associated with the healthy red-faced farmer.
 

Reference, Context, and Explanation

Lines 1-4
A touch of cold in the autumn night
I walked aboard
And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
Lie a red-faced farmer

 

Reference and Context
These lines have been taken from the poem Autumn written by T.E. Hulme. In this poem, the poet gives us a glimpse of a cold autumn night. he describes that once on a cold autumn night he was wandering near his house. 
 
He was greatly fascinated by the red-colored moon shining in the clear blue sky. The moon was surrounded by white-colored stars. it seemed that they were white faces children living in a city. He describes the polluted environment of city life.

 

Explanation

In these lines, the poet describes his own experience of one autumn night. He tells us that on one autumn cold night he was wandering near his house. He saw the ruddy type moon in the blue sky. It looked like a red-faced farmer bending over the hedge. 
 
The poet was greatly impressed by the beauty and redness of the moon. He considered it the faces of village people who are ruddy and their faces are the rose type like a red-faced farmer.

 

Lines 5-7

I did not stop to speak but nodded,
And round about were the wistful stars
With white faces like town children.


Reference and Context
 
The same as for lines 1-4

 

Explanation
In these lines, the poet refers to the city life with pollution. He says that city life is impure. The red-faced farmer and the town children represent various aspects of village and city life. The red-faced children are the images of city life. Both with white red faces create contrasting images. The poet has conveyed to us two types of life that stand poles apart. 

Important Questions and their Answers

Question 1
Autumn shows the poet’s love for nature. Discuss.

Answer

The poem Autumn presents the graphic picture of the autumn night. Through this graphic picture, the poet gives the idea of pollution. The rural environment is pure whereas urban life is polluted.  This artistic poem presents the science of autumn night with the moon and stars. 
 
The poet was observing the atmosphere on an autumn night. There was a coldness in the air. He saw the ruddy moon lean over the hedge of his house. It looked like a red-faced farmer. He did not speak to the moon. 
 
There were wistful stars around the moon that were as pale and white as the faces of the town children. The children were white and sickly because of the polluted atmosphere of city life. The peasant seemed red and healthy because he had been brought in a rustic scenario. 
 
He was having in a pure atmosphere. Basically, this poem expresses the polluted scene of urban life. It is a thought-provoking poem. It expresses a deep moral lesson that the beauty of nature is so intoxicating but mechanical life fills it with wastage. Through this poem, the poet shows his deep love for natural objects.
Question 2
Draw a graphic picture of the poem Autumn in your own words.

Answer

The poet T.E.Hulme has drawn a graphic picture of a cold autumn night in a quite realistic style. This very short poem is based on the personal experience of the poet.  The poet came out of his home to home to enjoy a walk on a cold autumn night.
 
During his walk, the poet observed the red-colored moon that was leaning over a hedge. The color of the moon was as red as the red-faced farmer. The poet did not stop to interact with the moon. He quickly moved onward.
 
Like a red-faced farmer, I did not stop to speak but nodded
 
After this, he observed the wistful stars in the sky that were as white as the faces of the town children. 
 
And round about were the wistful stars, With white faces like town children
 
This poem is a masterpiece of English literature. The poet has expressed his feelings and impressions about the healthy effect of the polluted environment of village life and the unhealthy effects of the polluted atmosphere of the cities on its inhabitants.
 
In short, the poet describes the purity and freshness of the village environment. So, the village stands for good health and purity. The images of red-faced and white-faced children are of great significance. The peasant indicates a fresh and healthy environment with full force. 
 
He looks bright, fresh, and active. He is a symbol of life and movement. The latter image refers to the polluted, misty, and unhealthy atmosphere of the cities. Here, the people are the symbols of laziness. They seem lifeless, still, and withered. 
 
There is no freshness and grace on their faces. So to conclude, the poet has painted the picture of rural and urban areas very beautifully through his imagination by using very apt and precise images.
 

2. Fog by Carl Sandburg

About the Poet

Carl August Sandburg( 1878-1967) was an American poet, writer, and editor who won three Pulitzers, two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincon.

Main Idea of the Poem

In this poem, Carl Sandburg gives us a graphic picture of the coming of the fog in the city. The fog comes into the city as stealthily as the cat. It rests over the harbor and the city for some time. It makes the whole atmosphere mysterious.
 
After some time, it moves away and everything becomes clear. The basic subject matter of the poem is about the sudden arrival of the fog in the city. All the natural objects are beautiful. They provide us solace and comfort. 
 
Although the appearance of natural objects appears for some time yet creates a lasting impact on the minds of people. The poet personifies fog with a cat. He gives all the qualities of a living being to fog. Like a cat, the fog moves very slowly, silently, and secretly. 
 
The poet has used effective imagery. There are some images like fog comes, silent haunches, then moves on, sits looking, city, etc. The title of the poem is symbolic. Every birth has the seeds of death. The sudden appearance and mysterious departure of fog are symbolic.
 

Reference, Context, and Explanation 

Lines 1-2
The fog comes
On little cat feet

Reference and Context

These lines have been taken from the poem Fog by Carl Sandburg. The poem presents a faithful picture of the arrival and departure of the fog in the city. The poet has personified fog as a living being with its own character and activities. The poet aims at giving the impression of a mysterious approach and disappearance of the fog. 

 

Explanation
Here in these lines, the poet personifies the fog in the form of a cat. The cat is a living creature but its qualities are given to the fog. The fog comes to the city as mysteriously and silently as the cat. In other words, it comes slowly like a thief just like the cat. Actually, in these lines, the poet has compared the coming of the fog to the coming of the white cat.
 
Lines 3-6
it sits looking
Over the harbor and city
On silent haunches
And then moves on

Reference and Context

The same as for the line 1-2

 

Explanation
These lines reflect the poets’ description of the fog that comes on the feet of a little cat in a very secret, slow, and silent manner. For some moment, the fog envelops the city harbor.
 
After some time, it drifts away silently and the atmosphere of the city becomes clear. Fog sits like a cat on its haunches and takes some rest. After some moment it disappears stealthily. Actually, the poem gives an impression of the mysterious arrival and departure of fog.
 

Important Questions and Answers

Question 1

Discuss Fog as an imagistic poem

Answer

the poem Fog is a very small poem. In this short poem, Carl Sandburg as an imagistic poet has personified fog. The poet compares artistically it to a white cat who comes quietly and softly. It does not contain any message. It is simple and full of certain images and impressions.
 
The poet observes a usual happening of every day. Every early morning, the fog envelops everything in the city and harbor alike. The poet personified Fog in the shape of an animal. In personification, things or ideas are treated as if they were human beings and with human qualities.
 
The poet gives the image of a cat that comes stealthily. It moves on its padded noiseless feet and sits silently. It creates a look around. After some time it moves on. The poet has beautifully used the images of fog, city, harbor, and the silent animal. He conveys the impression of sleep and silence.

 

Question 2
Draw a graphic picture of the poem Fog in your own words.

Answer

In this short poem Fog, the poet has drawn a quiet realistic graphic picture of fog. This poem is a close and keen observation of the personal experience of the poet. The poet presents the arrival and departure of fog.
 
The poet Carl Sandburg has personified fog as something animate in a very effective and touching style. The poet observes the fog coming on the feet of a little cat. It comes very slowly and silently.
 
The poet also observes the fog sitting on its haunches like a cat. It comes from the harbor and goes to the city. The poet has drawn the graphic picture of the fog very effectively. It is like a little white cat that is searching for its prey.
 
The images like the little feet and silent haunches are quite vivid, touching, and effective. This short piece of work is the masterpiece of still life. The poet, in a very curt and pithy style, paints a vivid picture of city life. He visualizes it through his imagination.
 

3. Metro: Paris

About the Poet

Ezra Weston Loomis Pound( 1885-1972) was an expatriate American poet and critic who was a major figure of the early modernist movement.

Main Idea of the Poem

This couplet by Ezra Pound is a masterpiece depicting still life. The poet has painted a graphic picture of a crowded passenger at the underground railway station waiting for the train. The faces of the passenger sitting in the train appear like black petals growing on a wet branch of a tree.
 
Actually, the fair complexion of their faces has turned into black and dull color because of the polluted environment of the city. In this poem, the poet describes the polluted environment of the city. Second, the basic theme is related to the busy lives of human beings.
 
Poet says that modern men are leading dull and monotonous life. In this couplet, the poet suggests a dull uniformity, boredom, and helplessness of modern human beings. There are some images in the poem like faces in the crowd, petals on a wet black bough.
 
In this poem, a wet black bough is used as a symbol for the polluted life of the big metropolitan city Paris. In this couplet, the metaphor of dull and lifeless leaves on the sick tree is highly suggested. The leaves and branches of the tree are away as the pale and dull in the surrounding unhealthy atmosphere of the city.

 

Lines 1-2
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet black bough

 

Reference and Context
These lines have been taken from the poem Metro Paris by Ezra Pound. In this couplet, the poet has drawn the picture of a still crowd at the underground railway station of Metro in Paris. He compares the faces of men to the numberless leaves of a wet and black branch of a tree.

 

Explanation
In these lines, the poet has painted a vivid image of city life visualized through his imagination, and reinforced by the last two alliteration words leaving a lasting impression behind. The crowd referred to in this two-liner is at the underground railway station of Metro in Paris.
 
These people lose their individuality. They look colorless and dull. They look like faded petals, fixed on the branch of a tree. They have no charm and attraction on their faces. They look like ghosts with blank eyes.

Important Questions and Answers

Question 
Discuss the symbolism in the poem

Answer

The poem, Metro: Paris is a symbolic poem. This is a common subject but the poet has expressed it in his unique style. He says that people are standing in an underground railway station. The visages of people in the crowd are spiritless and soulless. They appear to him as petals on the wet black bough.
 
Firstly, the poet gives the symbol of Metro. Metro is a symbol of an ever-increasing population. Secondly, the apparition is a symbol of the soulless lives of the city people. Thirdly, wet black bough is a symbol of the city that is full of pollution and problems.
 
Fourthly, the crowd is a symbol of a gathering of people who have last then individuality and they think and act alike. In short, the poem Metro: Paris is a symbolic poem., the poet has criticized city life. He is making fun of nature and the condition of modern people.

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