Posts Tagged ‘ H.D. ’

Circe by Hilda Doolittle | Academy of American Poets


H. D., 18861961

It was easy enough
to bend them to my wish,
it was easy enough
to alter them with a touch,
but you
adrift on the great sea,
how shall I call you back?

Cedar and white ash,
rock-cedar and sand plants
and tamarisk
red cedar and white cedar
and black cedar from the inmost forest,
fragrance upon fragrance
and all of my sea-magic is for nought.

It was easy enough—
a thought called them
from the sharp edges of the earth;
they prayed for a touch,
they cried for the sight of my face,
they entreated me
till in pity
I turned each to his own self.

Panther and panther,
then a black leopard
follows close—
black panther and red
and a great hound,
a god-like beast,
cut the sand in a clear ring
and shut me from the earth,
and cover the sea-sound
with their throats,
and the sea-roar with their own barks
and bellowing and snarls,
and the sea-stars
and the swirl of the sand,
and the rock-tamarisk
and the wind resonance—
but not your voice.

It is easy enough to call men
from the edges of the earth.
It is easy enough to summon them to my feet
with a thought—
it is beautiful to see the tall panther
and the sleek deer-hounds
circle in the dark.

It is easy enough
to make cedar and white ash fumes
into palaces
and to cover the sea-caves
with ivory and onyx.

But I would give up
rock-fringes of coral
and the inmost chamber
of my island palace
and my own gifts
and the whole region
of my power and magic
for your glance.

Circe, H. D. Academy of American Poets

H.D. (Hilda Doolittle): Euripides: The Chorus to Iphigeneia | TOM CLARK

(To Iphigeneia)

Your hair is scattered light:
The Greeks will bind it with petals.

And like a little beast,
Dappled and without horns,
That scampered on the hill-rocks,
They will leave you
With stained throat —
Though you never cropped hill-grass
To the reed-cry
And the shepherd’s note.

Some Greek hero is cheated
And your mother’s court
Of its bride.

And we ask this — where truth is,
Of what use is valour and is worth?
For evil has conquered the race,
There is no power but in base men,
Nor any man whom the gods do not hate.


H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) (1886-1961): Chorus to Iphigeneia, from Choruses from The Iphigeneia in Aulis and the Hippolytus of Euripides, The Egoist, London, 1919


[Hong Kong] – UMBRELLA/SHIELD POETICS (part ii) | Fireside: A Kundiman Poetry Blog

Fireside: A Poetry Blog.

Tern: Isola di Rifiuti : : out of many, one (Rukeyser, H. D., Mayer, OED, Snyder, Everson and so forth)

. . . and a head half-turned to watch

a reeling tern, a sleeve,

a garment’s fold, no word, no whisper,


nor glance even . . . or was it a gull

she watched, a heron or raven

or plover? the eclipsed pillar


with the shadow showing darker,

for the white gleam above,

of sun-lit marble,


a certain sheen of cloth,

a certain ankle,

a strap over a shoulder?


remember these small reliques,

as on a beach, you search

for a pearl, a bead,


a comb, a cup, a bowl

half-filled with sand,

after a wreck.


~ H. D., out of  Helen in Egypt (1961)


Mark Catesby, “Noddy Tern,” c. 1729-47

Isola di Rifiuti: Tern.

Kristin Prevallet Ballad of a Broken String: Poetry and the Teaching of Discognitive Communication

That overmind seems like a cap, like water, transparent, fluid yet with definite body, contained in a definite space. It is like a closed sea- plant, jelly-fish or anemone.
Into that overmind, thoughts pass and are visible like fish swimming under clear water.


Kristin Prevallet Ballad of a Broken String: Poetry and the Teaching of Discognitive Communication

Garden by H. D. with a reading by Ana Božičević : Poetry Magazine

Garden by H. D. : Poetry Magazine.

Orchard, a poem by H. D.


I saw the first pear
as it fell—
the honey-seeking, golden-banded,
the yellow swarm
was not more fleet than I,
(spare us from loveliness)
and I fell prostrate
you have flayed us
with your blossoms,
spare us the beauty
of fruit-trees.

The honey-seeking
paused not,
the air thundered their song,
and I alone was prostrate.

O rough-hewn
god of the orchard,
I bring you an offering—
do you, alone unbeautiful,
son of the god,
spare us from loveliness:

these fallen hazel-nuts,
stripped late of their green sheaths,
grapes, red-purple,
their berries
dripping with wine,
pomegranates already broken,
and shrunken figs
and quinces untouched,
I bring you as offering.

H. D.

H.D. / Sea Poppies (1916)

Amber husk
fluted with gold,
fruit on the sand
marked with a rich grain,

spilled near the shrub-pines
to bleach on the boulders:

your stalk has caught root
among wet pebbles
and drift flung by the sea
and grated shells
and split conch-shells.

Beautiful, wide-spread,
fire upon leaf,
what meadow yields
so fragrant a leaf
as your bright leaf?