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The Poets

July 15, 2011

Helen by H.D.



I first came to know her name toward the end of 2010, and now am totally drawn in by her … Hilda Doolittle is now my fourth favorite poet (the others being Milton, Dickinson, and Yeats).

She was the soul upon which
Imagism was founded, and, along with Pound and Eliot and a handful of others, was responsible for the rapid emergence of Modernism and Free Verse in poetry.

I love her works primarily because of her intense depth, her incredible use of imagery, and her extensive use of
Greek mythology. If you haven’t read her you’re missing out- way out. Here’s an example of her works, this poem is called, Helen.


Helen

All Greece hates
the still eyes in the white face,
the lustre as of olives
where she stands,
and the white hands.

All Greece reviles
the wan face when she smiles,
hating it deeper still
when it grows wan and white,
remembering past enchantments
and past ills.

Greece sees, unmoved,
God's daughter, born of love,
the beauty of cool feet
and slenderest knees,
could love indeed the maid,
only if she were laid,
white ash amid funereal cypresses.

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