I threw 1 in the virtual die and got D as in Dermark. So I'm going to give my own opinion about the poem.
2. CLOSE READING.
It's a close reading, one that was furthermore undertaken for pleasure, and to escape from reality.
3. THE QUOTE
"One can see it's a fairly short poem, only two lines; it feels like a haiku. A steam-era Left Bank haiku, to be more precise. The image of the first verse, the dark crowd in the Métro de Paris, appears bleak and monotonous, even uninteresting, compared to the second... which is straight out of an ukiyo-e painting."
4. HAIKU AND UKIYO-E.
The fact that Pound's poem is a short, few-verses-long traditionally Japanese poem in free verse, and its use of an ukiyo-e aesthetic motif in the second verse, are the first things that set it apart from Western culture, for instance Shakespearean pentameter. The line "A steam-era Left Bank haiku, to be more precise" is interesting because it suggests that poetic forms are universal and a haiku can be written in the Métro de Paris as well as on a country road in preindustrial Japan (Warring States/Sengoku or Edo period).
Ukiyo-e refers to Japanese artwork, and here I am suggesting that the verse evokes a motif that is commonplace in the ukiyo-e tradition, that of the blossoming branch. Which leads to the second aspect of the close reading that I have delved upon.
5. BOUGH VS. BRANCH
The second aspect I have frequently discussed on this course is whether the poem would be different if the petals had been on a "wet, black branch" instead. "Branch", pronounced as it's written and more commonly used today and in the 1910s/20s, is a French loanword with a mouthful of consonants and one single vowel; while "bough", pronounced /baw/, is the old Saxon word and sounds far more archaic, having a vocalic sound that outrings its single consonant. One can see that Pound picked "bough" because of the simple musicality of the latter word.