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.

  • H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), “Helen” from Collected Poems 1912-1944. Copyright © 1982 by The Estate of Hilda Doolittle. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

  • Source: Collected Poems 1912-1944 (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1982)

Poet Bio

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"I learned that no matter how many times I do it, I will still be nervous when I speak in public. I also learned that it is possible to experience the same poem many times in a row and still feel like I am discovering something new about myself through the words of the writer."
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