In sorting my photographs from the trip I came across this one, taken at the exit of the Concorde station on the Paris Métro, at the Place de la Concorde. I’d spent the previous night in Arcueil, an unremarkable suburb, and this was my first view of Paris. It’s difficult to imagine a grander entrance to that great city.
The Concorde Métro stop was built in 1903, on the 1, 8 and 12 lines. It was about 3 blocks from my hotel in central Paris. I hadn’t known that one of Ezra Pound’s most memorable poems was written after a 1912 visit to that particular underground station.
- In a Station of The Metro
- The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
According to Wikipedia, Pound described the inspiration for his Imagist poem this way: “I got out of a train at, I think, La Concorde, and in the jostle I saw a beautiful face, and then, turning suddenly, another and another, and then a beautiful child’s face, and then another beautiful face. All that day I tried to find words for what this made me feel.”