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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.


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)

  • Mythology & Folklore

Poet Bio

H. D.
In a career that spanned five decades, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) was given many labels: Imagist, feminist, mythologist, and mystic. Her abiding concern, though, was to explore and represent her personal experience as a poet and a woman. In addition to poetry, she published novels, short stories, and two epic poems on war: Trilogy and Helen in Egypt. See More By This Poet

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