In the concluding cinquain, the poet defends Helen, a singular figure who bore the human qualities of her mother, Leda, and the divine elegance and grace of her father, Zeus. Implicit in her lineage is a conception that resulted from Zeus's trickery and rape of Leda by appearing to her as a male swan. H. D. acknowledges that such a dangerous beauty can't be appreciated in life. Only in death — reduced to "white ash amid funereal cypresses" like the burned city of Troy — does the goddess-like Helen acquire the nation's adoration.The Walls Do Not Fall, which was written in seclusion during the closing months of World War II as the first installment of her war trilogy, highlighted the poet's final creative period. The verse cycle, which is a belated thank-you to Bryher for their 1923 trip to Karnak, Egypt, exults in the cyclic nature of writing, research, and self-study. The first canto explores the paradox of human effort, which
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