Bethlehem-born poet H. D. capturing a “fresh active, moment in time” (17)

(17th in a series of posts on H.D.)

Finding H.D.:
A Community Exploration of the Life and Work of Hilda Doolittle

You thought I forgot about our year-long discovery of H.D., didn’t you?

We continue to learn about this Bethlehem-born writer (1886-1961), the “Lehigh Valley’s most important literary figure,” as the plaque at the entrance announces to our library patrons. Poetry mag

Listen to this rollicking 10 minutes from the April 29 talk by the delightful Liz Bradbury for a powerful understanding of what made H. D. and Imagism, the poetic movement she was associated with and helped define, so special.

Liz contrasts H. D.’s poetry with that of Agatha Christie, Richard Aldington, and Ezra Pound with specific regard to a principle that poetry should capture a “fresh active, moment in time.”

(Aldington, Pound, and H. D. are thought of as the founders of Imagism.)

Liz will make you laugh. She reads with gusto. You can’t miss how different H. D. is!

Linger on Liz’s charged readings of these poems.


You crash over the trees,
you crack the live branch,
the branch is white,
the green crushed,
each leaf is rent like split wood.

You burden the trees
with black drops,
you swirl and crash,
you have broken off a weighted leaf
in the wind,
it is hurled out,
whirls up and sinks,
a green stone.


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.


O wind, rend open the heat,
cut apart the heat,
rend it to tatters.

Fruit cannot drop
through this thick air–
fruit cannot fall into heat
that presses up and blunts
the points of pears
and rounds the grapes.

Cut the heat–
plough through it,
turning it on either side
of your path.

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