The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
Alas, I’m not in Paris; I’m not in Washington DC. I’m not in a large city or even near one with underground transit for the masses. Or for today’s DC version, the rich (see a recent Harper’s index for the $109K median wage for DC subway riders). I grew up with Philadelphia’s North-South Broad Street Line, its East-West elevated line, and a small web of subway-surface cars (“trolleys”) surfacing in University City and extending into Southwest Philadelphia. So I can’t say I ever lived permanently in a city whose mass transit is dominated by an entire web of underground trains like New York City or Paris. I have visited New York a bunch of times, and I’ve been lucky enough to live for a summer in both Paris and Seoul, South Korea. I’ve experienced the thrill of navigating a complex web of subways in a language extremely foreign to one’s native tongue. I’ve lost my way.
Pound’s poem suggests …