Hilda doolittle

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Sea rose
Hilda Doolittle (EEUU, 1886-1961)

Rose, harsh rose,
marred and with stint of petals,
meagre flower, thin,
sparse of leaf,

more precious
than a wet rose
single on a stem --
you are caught in the drift.

Stunted, with small leaf,
you are flung on the sand,
you are lifted
in the crisp sand
that drives in the wind.

Can the spice-rose
drip such acrid fragrance
hardenedin a leaf?

Rosa del mar

Rosa, áspera rosa,
maltratada y con pétalos de menos,
flor magra, adelgazada,
con escueto follaje,

más perfecta
que una húmeda rosa
solitaria en su tallo,
te arrastra una corriente.

Raquítica, junto con otras hojas,
encallas en la arena,
te alzas
entre la arena fresca
que barre el viento.

¿Podrá exudar la rosa de Bermuda
un perfume tan agrio
secasobre una hoja?

Versión de Ezequiel Zaidenwerg
Labels: Hilda Doolittle


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The objectification of human passion in H. D.'s imagist poems highlights another quality that distinguishes them from other imagist poems. Taken as a whole, Sea Garden is a volume that indirectly explores the unnamed, impersonal identity of the poet. The poet appears before the readerenigmatically hidden behind initials. Anticipating Eliot's ideal of the "impersonal poet" in "Tradition and the Individual Talent," the early imagist "H. D." was a disembodied figure, taken out of time, out of history, out of gender. The anguish of a poem like "Mid-Day," the loss of "Loss," the prostration of "Orchard," the ecstasy of "Hermes of the Ways" were all undoubtedly emotions anchored in historicalself, in events with a place, time, and circumstance. But H. D.'s presentations of these emotions deliberately removed them from any historical reference, unlike, for example, Lawrence's intensely autobiographical lyrics in Look! We Have Come Through! (1918), some of which also appeared in imagist anthologies. When Amy Lowell published a photo of H. D. without her permission in Tendencies inModern American Poetry (1917), H. D. was furious: "It's not that picture, but any picture! The initials, 'H. D.,' had no identity attached; they could have been pure spirit. But with this I'm embodied."

As disembodied as the Sea Garden poems appear, they are nonetheless poems about identity. Removed from the confines of respectability, the natural world of Sea Garden is a kind of pastoral realmimaginatively existing outside culture, what Louis Martz aptly called "borderline." "Sheltered Garden" serves as a kind of touchstone for the volume, highlighting the poet's desire to escape from the suffocating "border-pinks" of the domestic garden into the "coarse weeds" of "some terrible/windtortured place." Read as a coded poem about the female self, "Sea Rose" opens Sea Garden with an expressionof the poet's simultaneous vulnerability as a woman, rejection of conventional femininity, and defiant celebration of her difference. She is unlike the beautiful domestic rose, but nonetheless more precious for her wildness:

H.D., or Hilda Doolittle, was an American writer born in 1886. She wrote many poems and novels, knew fascinating people, and lived most of her long life in Europe, dying in1961. Here, and in the links below you will find information on her writing, the H.D. International Society, and her many friends and associates. For information on this site,

Born on September 10, 1886, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Hilda Doolittle was the daughter of an astronomer, and she was reared in the strict Moravian tradition of her mother's family. She entered Bryn Mawr College in 1904and while a student there formed friendships with Marianne Moore, a fellow student, and with Ezra Pound (to whom she was briefly engaged) and William Carlos Williams, who were at the nearby University of Pennsylvania.

Ill health forced her to leave college in 1906. Five years later she traveled to Europe for what was to have been a vacation but became a permanent stay, mainly in England and...
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