Form and Content
H. D.’s Collected Poems, 1912-1944 is the largest single gathering of Hilda Doolittle’s poetry in one volume. It brings together H. D.’s poetry from the first poems shown to Ezra Pound in 1912—definitive of Imagism—through the completion of her World War II Trilogy in 1946, written as a continuation of her analytic work with Sigmund Freud. It thus provides the reader with access to a wide range of H. D.’s poems written over a thirty-year period, allowing the reader to explore in what ways H. D. was the definitive Imagist—and thus in some ways the true initiator of modernist poetics—and how her early concern with Greece, joined with her later interest in psychoanalysis, led finally to the authoritative voice of the first great modern feminist poet—the poet of the visionary Trilogy with which the volume closes.
The collection is divided into four parts, parts 1 and 2 each consisting of a complete earlier publication, The Collected Poems of H. D. (1925) and Red Roses for Bronze (1931), part 3 bringing together a rich selection of “uncollected and unpublished poems (1912-1944),” and part 4 consisting of the wartime Trilogy.
Part 1 contains many of H. D.’s earliest poems, including “Hermes of the Ways,” the poem that Pound signed for her “H. D. Imagiste” when sending it for publication in the January, 1913, issue of Poetry. This was to be the first publication of poetry in a new style: focusing on the “thing,” using no unnecessary word, and written “in sequence of the musical phrase,” not according to a metronomic beat. Literary modernism had begun....
(The entire section is 689 words.)