Essay, 7 pages.

By choosing the famous story of Helen as her subject and the three-stanza poetic form of Poe's work as her structure, she begs comparison to the past in order to present a truly modernist poem that renders her own perspective on tradition and gender. It was then that she began to write under the nom de plume “H.D.” In 1916, she released her first complete volume, Sea Garden. Mary Loefelholz, Norton, New York, pp.

This escalation of line numbers builds up tension as the poem increases until the climax occurs in the last three. remove the focus from the events of the Iliad, but she even uses the famed beauty of Helen in a nontraditional way, presenting an image of staid emotion.

H.D. She is remembering what she did wrong in her past, and this begins to change her beautiful appearance. She published numerous poetry collections, including Sea Garden (Constable and Company, 1916) and Helen in Egypt (Grove Press, 1961).

In gaelic it translates roughly to “hill of spring water” My “place of clear water,” The first hill in the world. Each stanza includes exactly five lines, and most of the poem appears in regular iambic tetrameter.

chooses to place "Helen" in the context of a classical myth in which the woman is the storyline and a poem by Poe in which the woman is the object. The first thought I come up with when reading Doolittle’s Helen is the extreme difference between her poem, and Poe’s poem, Helen. Informed mostly in first person viewpoint, we see a change in the speaker’s perception from seeing the world as soothing and hopeful however his thoughts turn to disgust and despondence. Ironically, because of the very things that makes Greece hate her so, Helen has now become immortalized in the lines of poetry and mythology so many centuries later.

Her modernist structure in "Helen" contrasts with Poe's traditional form and prepares the way for her modern take on an ancient story. (Hilda Doolittle) was given many labels: Imagist, feminist, mythologist, and mystic. Please continue to help us support the fight against dementia. The third stanza begins with "Greece sees unmoved/ God's daughter," suggesting that nothing, not even the beauty that Poe and others praise, can persuade them to leave behind their hatred of her existence (H.D. Copyright © 1982 by the Estate of Hilda Doolittle.

Rather than overpowering her poem with allusions and metaphors, H.D.

Writing under the pen name H.D., her work as a writer spanned five decades of the 20th century (1911-1961), and incorporates work in a variety of genres. Analysis of Hilda Doolittle’s “Helen” The beautiful Helen of Troy has been the subject for many poems and artists over the centuries. This representation of hate is immensely different from the general feelings that surround the myth of Helen. creates rhythm through meaning rather than relying upon a strict metrical pattern. All Greece hatesthe still eyes in the white face,the lustre as of oliveswhere she stands,and the white hands.

It is “unmoved” outwardly by the smile. This association is crucial for the understanding and appreciation of H.D. She … The spin comes after that; they could only love her dead.

Explicator, vol. Stanza two as a whole seems fraught with ambiguity for the reader: “All Greece reviles She is known primarily as a poet, but she also wrote novels, memoirs, and essays and did a number of translations from the Greek. Her parentage is fluid. If she is to satisfy Eliot's demands of placing her poem within literature's "idea of order" before garnering any true significance for the work, H.D. Ironically again, Helen’s birth, according to mythology, was the product of a rape, and Zeus did not ever take an interest in Helen or in her mother, who was so beautiful that Zeus could not help but ravage her. revisits the story of Helen in order to reexamine the concept of gender in classical myth and reprove Poe's notion of it in "To Helen.". Not only does H.D. She almost takes on the quality of a type of martyr, sexual on the one hand but a Madonna on the other. Whichever interpretation is chosen, the Greek response is only negative. Or at least, not exactly. Source: Collected Poems 1912-1944 (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1982).

H.D. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

In a career that spanned five decades, H.D. In the first two lines, Poe qualifies the appraisal of Helen's beauty by saying, "Helen, thy beauty is to me/ Like those Nicean barks of yore" (1835, lines 1-2, emphasis added). 's nontraditional consideration of Helen employs imagism to assert the poet's modernist and feminist ideas.

must first establish a connection with the classical myth of Helen of Troy, relying on her scholarship of the classics to include enough allusions to be clear, but not so many that she drowns her interpretation in exposition.

alludes to the story of Helen throughout her poem in order to establish the necessary relationship between her work and Homer's. The siege on the city lasted for 10 years and is detailed in Homer’s Iliad. Not only do they despise her a person, they wish her unhappiness. However, while Walker (1957) recognizes the importance of Helen's beauty, he argues that "the crux of the poem is the metaphoric function of the classical characters with whom the poet and his beloved are compared" (p. 491). All rights reserved. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy. I could scrape the colour   from the petals like spilt dye from a rock.

The reader must decipher of which reaction it speaks. Numerous poets have participated in the conversation about Helen of Troy. A Poem Helen by Hilda Doolittle.

immortalizes a woman hated by history and objectified by men, contemplating Helen through the method of imagism and setting her free from the bonds of tradition through the radically objective lens of modernism. 's use of the Helen myth for the purpose of commenting on patriarchy. H.D. They hate her “still eyes” that sit in her “white face.” The beautiful olives-like “lustre” of her skin as ell as her “white hands,” are all despised. Hilda Doolittle was born 10th September 1886, to Charles and Helen Doolittle. 375-401, [Online]. Hughes, G. R. 1990, "Making It Really New: Hilda Doolittle, Gwendolyn Brooks, and the Feminist Potential of Modern Poetry,". The poem ‘Dover Beach’ by Mathew Arnold communicates the disturbing views of the poet that the world is turning its back on religious beliefs. She appears to be creating a type of wall between the onlookers and herself, staring simply ahead and not looking about from face to face. 1518-1519. the wan face when she smiles, includes an irregular one in this poem so as not to remove it completely from traditional works.

a mermaid, Thetis upon the prow. identifies with Helen and presents a poem centered on her experience.

By including brief allusions to Homeric myth, H.D. 4, pp. 's "Helen" and Poe's "To Helen," and place them in conversation with one another.

Poet Bio In a career that spanned five decades, H.D. In a career that spanned five decades, H.D.

Hilda Doolittle was born in 1886 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Upper Darby. Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest and greatest poetry updates. H.D. In her article "Making It Really New: Hilda Doolittle, Gwendolyn Brooks, and the Feminist Potential of Modern Poetry," Gertrude Reif Hughes (1990) speaks of H.D. The majority of these poems comment upon her beauty, her status, and her love. Type: 's "Helen" seems to relate the classic story of Helen and appears to mimic the form of Poe's poem, her variations in tone, metrical structure, and imagery critique these precedents and contemplate the woman Helen rather than the men who have objectified her.

1919, "Tradition and the Individual Talent,". is not the only poet who practices Eliot's prescribed attention to the classics.

Just as she shortens her given name to a succinct identification of only two letters, H.D.

She uses a well-known story that has already been taken on by other poets, assimilating her style closely enough to that of Poe to confront and criticize traditional ideas about Helen. Although she is most well known for her poetry—lyric and epic—H.D. Another facet of this poem must be Helen’s reaction to this hatred.


‘Helen’ by H.D. Retrieved from, Type: Her abiding concern, though, was to explore and represent her personal experience as a poet and a woman. I came from Cleveland, TN to begin my college career in 2008, declared English as my undergraduate major in 2010, and anticipate graduating with honors in May 2011. The selfish acts of this woman are referenced in lines 9 and 10 which describe Greece as. Though the rhyme scheme of each stanza differs slightly from the one before it, they follow similar patterns and rely only on exact rhymes without the inclusion of sight rhymes or off rhymes. Is she smiling as a plea for mercy or is she smiling out of nervous fear? Type: Hilda Doolittle poems, quotations and biography on Hilda Doolittle poet page.

places "Helen" within the context of works by Homer and Poe through topical and metrical associations, she draws attention to the important differences between her work and that of Poe. Before he even begins the poem, Poe has already placed Helen in the traditional place of the female, as an object addressed by a man. According to Hughes (1990), H.D. She stands still, like the many statues that were eventually erected in her likeness. Doolittle had five brothers, and her father was a professor of astronomy, teaching at the university. (Hilda Doolittle) was given many labels: Imagist, feminist, mythologist, and mystic.

Mary Loefelholz, Norton, New York, pp. While these similes maintain Poe's classical theme, Walker (1957) argues that they "do not bear a corresponding relationship to each other," thus presenting a metaphor that ultimately complicates rather than condenses (p. 492).

presents a compact but complete image of Helen, compressing the tradition of myth and the innovation of modernism into a poem of three short stanzas.