The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough. — Ezra Pound
“Faces in the crowd” is one thing, but “the apparition of faces in the crowd” is something entirely different: less direct, more refined and fragile. The “apparition” makes the faces look just a bit blurred, just a bit more ephemeral and momentary.
And this image is followed by yet another beautiful and momentary one, “petals on a wet, black bough.” The wetness of the branch and petals underlines the fragility of nature. It lets the beauty shine.
Put the lines/images together and you get a description of the beauty of humans, their nature and /or existence. Equating the outlines of faces–fleetingly seen by Pound at a metro station in Paris–with the exquisitely beautiful and fragile petals, is a mark of wisdom and empathy. In this light, I imagine the author, Ezra Pound. In a way, this poem reveals as much about our fragile human nature as it does about the humanity/humility of the poet.
We need more such poets in the world, and less people who glorify strength rather than fragility. If strength justifies war, fragility is a sign of refined beauty and peace. And as a fairy coach, it is this fragile beauty that I want to uncover in everyone, not their inabilities, disorders, disfunctions.
This two-line poem imprinted itself on my mind for its wisdom and beauty. And I began this blog post by quoting the poem and discussing it, rather than by first telling you how spellbound I’ve been by it. Perhaps if you just read it to yourself without first being told how to think about the poem, it will make a lasting impression on you as well, and the message of our human beauty will spread, petal by petal, and reach the infinite bough of humanity.
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