H. D. Poetry: American Poets Analysis
H. D. was a lyric poet with one overarching dramatic theme: a heroine’s quest for love and spiritual peace. Her poetry about this one central drama, although written in concise and crystalline images, is an evocative and often enigmatic reworking of scenes, a retelling of tales, where new characters fuse with old, where meanings subtle shift with the perspective, and where understanding interchanges with mystery.
The early poem, “Oread”—one of the most often anthologized of H. D.’s poems—has been celebrated as the epitome of the Imagist poem. First published in February, 1914, this deft six-line poem not only illustrates the essence and freshness of the Imagist approach but also foreshadows and reflects many of the themes to which H. D. would turn and return in her art. The six lines of the poem rest on a single image:
Whirl up, sea— whirl your pointed pines, splash your great pines on our rocks, hurl your green over us, cover us with your pools of fir.
The image in this poem is a “presentation,” not a representation; it is a tangible, immediate manifesting of a physical thing, not a description of a scene or an abstract...
(The entire section is 2939 words.)
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