Example of juxtaposition

Here’s the promised example of juxtaposition in literature: This poem by Ezra Pound is modeled on the concept of classical Japanese haiku. In elementary school, you probably wrote haiku based on the 5-7-5 syllable count. But it is much more than that, and one important aspect is juxatposition. Here’s Pound’s poem, “In a Station of the Metro”:

THE apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

In this short poem, two images are juxtaposed. Although there is an implied comparison–and our minds naturally try to figure out the connection between the two images–no direct comparison is made. Also, unlike antithesis, these images are neither opposites, nor are they parallel. This is pure juxtaposition.


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