Hildadoolittle

Hildadoolittle - Allie Oliver 3/9/07 Period 5 Hilda "H.D."...

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Allie Oliver 3/9/07 Period 5 Hilda “H.D.” Doolittle (1886-1961) Hilda Doolittle was born on September 10, 1886, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania into a family that consisted of her religious Moravian mother and her scientist father (Hernandez). H.D. is most well known for being one of the original and greatest Imagist poets, but unlike most poets, H.D.’s later poetic style changes reflect her many experiences of confusion in love and living through both World War I and World War II. H.D.’s first section of “Trilogy,” “The Walls Do Not Fall,” is a literary illustration of her uncertainty surrounding shifting world affairs as well as the impact of living through war, and how these two factors completely changed H.D.’s style from pure Imagist to complex modernist. H.D.’s most well known poetry occurred in her earlier years during the Imagism period. “Imagists held three principles: direct treatment of the subject, allow no word that was not essential to the presentation, and follow the musical phrase rather than strict regularity in their rhythms. (Hernandez).” H.D. later stated that “Imagism was something that was important for poets learning their craft early in this century. But after learning his craft, the poet will find his own direction (Gregory 274).” “The Trilogy” is a poem with three sections; “The Walls Do Not Fall,” “Tribute to the Angels,” and “Flowering of the Rod (Modern American Women Writers 104).” “The Walls Do Not Fall” is a poem of seventeen sections and four hundred and one lines. It is peppered with repetition, an inconsistent rhyme scheme, non-metrical lines, assonance, alliteration, and imagery, that are not the normal imagist poetry that people
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are used to associating with H.D. “The Walls Do Not Fall” was written in 1944 while she and her lover Bryher (Winifred Ellerman) were stranded in an air raided and bomb threatened London. She manages to incorporate her and Bryher’s visit to the historic Karnack with the horror and fear that they both felt while they were both trapped in London (American National Biography 743). H.D. was connecting her experiences in World War II with the history of different time periods and places in the past. For example, section one of the poem starts with “An incident here and there, and rails gone (for guns) from your (and my) old town square… …they continue to prophesy from the stone papyrus: there, as here, ruin opens the tomb, the temple; enter, there as here, there are no doors: the shrine lies open to the sky, the rain falls, here, there sand drifts; eternity endures… (H.D. 1-15)”
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PLS 120 taught by Professor Nichols during the Spring '08 term at Union.

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Hildadoolittle - Allie Oliver 3/9/07 Period 5 Hilda "H.D."...

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