H.D. - book author
An innovative modernist writer, Hilda Doolittle (1886–1961) wrote under her initials in a career that stretched from 1909 to 1961. Although she is most well known for her poetry - lyric and epic - H.D. also wrote novels, memoirs, short stories, essays, reviews, a children’s book, and translations. An American woman who lived her adult life abroad, H.D. was engaged in the formalist experimentation that preoccupied much of her generation. A range of thematic concerns resonates through her writing: the role of the poet, the civilian representation of war, material and mythologized ancient cultures, the role of national and colonial identity, lesbian and queer sexuality, and religion and spirituality.
H.D. is the author of books: Collected Poems, 1912-1944, Trilogy: The Walls Do Not Fall / Tribute to the Angels / The Flowering of the Rod, Helen in Egypt, HERmione, Selected Poems, Sea Garden, Notes on Thought and Vision, Tribute to Freud: Writing on the Wall and Advent (New Directions Paperbook), Hermetic Definition: Poetry, The Gift: Novel
""Notes" is filled with dualisms that seem to split experience at all levels: body and spirit, womb and head, feeling and thought, the unconscious and ego consciousness, female and male, nature and divinity, classical and Christian, Greek and Hebrew, Greek and Egyptian, Sphinx and Centaur, Pan and Helios, Naiads and Athene, thistle and serpent. But the impulse behind "Notes" is to account for those mysterious moments in which the polarities seemed to fall away, or—more accurately—to find their contradictions lifted and subsumed into a gestalt that illuminated the cross-patch of the past and released her to the chances of the future." —Albert Gelpi, Introduction
"H. D.'s Notes on Thought and Vision [is] such a unique, inspiring, exploration of her notion of the creative process, orchestrated through an array of fully female, not feminine, not feminist, female figures." —Paul Kameen, University of Pittsburgh, English Department
Hilda "H.D." Doolittle (1886-1961) was a poet, novelist, and memoirist well-known for her role with the avant-gard Imagist group. Though born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, her publications took off in London and earned her a spot within the emerging Imagist movement. She is also known for being unapologetic about her sexuality and is an icon for LGBT rights and feminist movements.
Compelled by historical as well as personal crises, the poet worked with Freud during 1933-34. The streets of Vienna were littered with tokens dropped like confetti on the city, stating "Hitler gives work." "Hitler gives bread." Having endured World War I, she was now gathering her resources to face the second cataclysm she knew was approaching. In analysis, Hilda Doolittle explored her Pennsylvania childhood, her relationship with Ezra Pound (inventory of her nom de plume H.D.), Havelock Ellis, D.H. Lawrence, her ex-husband Richard Aldington, and subsequent companion Winifred Ellerman ("Bryher"), as well as her own creative processes.
Freud, regarding H.D. as a student as well as a patient, wads hardly the detached presence one might imagine. Revealed here in the poet's words and in his own letters, which comprise an appendix, is the considerate friend, the charming Viennese gentleman—art collector, dog lover, wit—and the pioneer, always revising his ideas and possessed of an insight that could be terrifying in its force.
H. D.’s (Hilda Doolittle, 1884-1961) late poems of search and longing represent the mature achievement of a poet who has come increasingly to be recognized as one of the most important of her generation. The title poem and other long pieces in this collection ("Sagesse" and "Winter Love") were written between 1957 and her death four years later, and are heretofore unpublished, except in fragments. We can see now in proper context her fine ear for the free line, and understand why other poets, such as Denise Levertov, Robert Creeley, and Robert Duncan, find so much to admire in H. D.’s work. As in her earlier books, one level of H.D.’s significant poetic statement derives from her intimate knowledge of and identification with classical Greek and arcane cultures; taken together, these elements make up the poet’s own personal myth. Norman Holmes Pearson, H. D’s friend and literary executor, has contributed an illuminating foreword to this impressive collection.
In recapturing her memories of being a very little girl in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and later on a country place outside Philadelphia, H.D. "let the story tell itself or the child tell it." It is this voice or child's-eye view that lends The Gift its special charm as H.D. recreates the ordinary and extraordinary occasions of her early youth, the nightmares and delights. A road-company presentation of Uncle Tom's Cabin, Christmas Eve with its particular family ritual, a family outing, a disturbing accident––the happenings and incidents, perceptions and misconceptions with which a child's life is crowded are the substance of this most winning book. As she did for the H.D. novel HERmione, H.D.'s daughter, Perdita Schaffner, provides a fine introduction.