I'm happy to argue over this apparently trivial detail because we are
recognizing the importance of subtle differences.
I am willing to admit that the reason the colon was dropped is
probably unknowable.As was pointed out, Pound was no great proof-reader,
and the pecularities of spacing were not preserved, who knows
why?Speculation is, of course, in order.
As for the meaning of the colon, I'm afraid we're not getting tht
right. According to my dictionary, it means "namely, what follows," not
"are like," and that is quite a difference.It is like "hence," something
like cause and effect.This gives the little poem movement, an effect lost
with the semicolon.For the record, I copy "Metro" exactly as it appears
photographically reprinted in Poetry and Prose:
IN A STATION OF THE METRO
The apparition of these faces in the crowd :
Petals on a wet, black bough .
And I apologize for my inaccurate copy of the other day, which, I said
anyway, was from memory.
On Thu, 26 Oct 2000, Joanne DeMeno wrote:
> I believe Pound changed the punctuation purposely. It was part of the
> editing process. The poem was originally published with gaps between the
> words, stressing the rhthym. This was unnecessary -- the rhthym of the poem
> is clear. He changed the colon to a semicolon because the colon implies
> "are like." The ideogram is works a bit differently than metaphor/simile
> and so he substituted the semicolon. I read an article in a journal a few
> years ago regaurding this topic but I've forgotten which one.