From: HERmoine, 1926 - 1927



  'Her Gart went round in circles. "I am Her," she said to herself; she repeated, "Her, Her, Her." Her Gart tried to hold on to something; drowning she grasped, she caught at a smooth surface, her fingers slipped, she cried in her dementia, "I am Her, Her, Her." Her Gart had no word for her dementia, it was predictable by star, by star-sign, by year.
     But Her Gart was then no prophet. She could not predict later common usage of uncommon syllogisms; "failure complex," "compensation reflex," and that conniving phrase "arrested development" had opened no door to her. Her development, forced along slippery lines of exact definition, marked supernorm, marked subnorm on some sort of chart or soul-barometer. She could not distinguish the supernorm, dragging her up from the subnorm, letting her down. She could not see the way out of marsh and bog. She said, "I am Hermione Gart precisely."
    She said, "I am Hermione Gart," but Her Gart was not that. She was nebulous, gazing into branches of liriodendron, into network of oak and deflowered dogwood. She looked up into larch that was now dark, its moss-flame already one colour with the deciduous oak leaves. The green that, each spring, renewed her sort of ecstasy ...' 

'That odd infallible sliding-like-crystal air on water that means day's left dawn for morning."

" ... and I should like, now that white lilac has etherealized my senses, to do something."

" ... no valiant effort could hold her to her vast desire."

"We're incandescent and it doesn't seem fair." 

From: Asphodel, 1920s


'...Christ in heaven. I suppose this is your church. ... Christ in heaven let me fling myself down, something, somewhere, something, some expression of something but not this, not this. This is all trying to make us forget. It's like a wood where one is lost, singing going on somewhere, some sort of chant to keep us from being afraid. But Beauty is fear. This says fear is to be numbed, but I don't think really that was your doctrine... long shafts of light from the pool set slant wise in the wall, set slant wise, a pool defying laws of gravitation and dripping ruby colour. The Holy grail. A cup to take and to forget, to forget -- but not this. This classic thing, this action ....'

'....Blood and foam and all the heart of a Great Sun gone down like an ocean liner in a minute. "Do you like heliotrope?" "What for?" "The flower. I mean do you like it. It smells of eternity, the sudden foam of something breaking across - across - elegance from another world ...'

From: Paint it Today, 1921

     '....Do not paint it of yesterday's rapt and rigid formula nor of yesterday's day-after-tomarrow's crisscross -- jagged, geometric, prismatic. Do not paint yesterday's day-after-tomarrow destructiveness nor yesterday's fair convention. ...'
Texts Online:

    H.D. is, obviously, a master of language who is known, foremost, as a poet. I have briefly quoted from her prose above because I feel it is equally outstanding and deserves equal attention (if not modernist canonization) - for its astounding and inventive use of language, its narrative experimentation and the depth of its psychological penetration. I have not quoted from her poetry as many texts can already be found on line - some links are below:

Exhibition at The Academy of American Poets, with brief biography and the following texts:
Stars Wheel in Purple
At Baia
Helen in Egypt *with audio text read by the author

The following texts may be found at Jennifer Lynne Pyzik's site titled "Hilda Doolittle's Home Page"
Let Zeus Record 
Sea Poppies 
Sea Rose 
Pear Tree 
Sheltered Garden

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