Celebrating H.D.

Today is H.D.‘s birthday so I thought I would share my favorite of her poems. I was lucky enough to study HD while abroad at the University of Exeter as part of my “Beyond Plath: Modern American Women Poets.”

 

 

Helen
by H. D.
All Greece hates
the still eyes in the white face,
the lustre as of olives
where she stands,
and the white hands.

All Greece reviles
the wan face when she smiles,
hating it deeper still
when it grows wan and white,
remembering past enchantments
and past ills.

Greece sees, unmoved,
God's daughter, born of love,
the beauty of cool feet
and slenderest knees,
could love indeed the maid,
only if she were laid,
white ash amid funereal cypresses.
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