Barbara Guest: On "Eurydice"

[D.H.] Lawrence was closer than he cared to admit to Imagism, because he was influenced by H.D.'s poetry--one hears echoes of her in his earlier poems. In exchange, H.D. caught the freedom of Lawrence's poetry; his passion is reflected in the intenseness of "Eurydice." This is a poem prophetic of her life; the poem also may have betrayed her inner knowledge that she could never possess Lawrence as she once possessed [Richard] Aldington. His soul, that is, could never be owned by her. From "Eurydice":

                        VII At least I have the flowers of myself and my thoughts, no god can take that; I have the fervour of myself for a presence and my own spirit for light; and my spirit with its loss knows this; though small against the black, small against the formless rocks, hell must break before I am lost; before I am lost, hell must open like a red rose for the dead to pass.

Each seeded poetry with flowers. Specifically, one thinks of H.D.'s favorite anemones, and hyacinths, of Lawrence's "Bavarian Gentians," and "Sicilian Cyclamens." H.D. never realized that Lawrence--when The Ship of Death, which includes the above poems, along with "Snake" and the title poem, was published posthumously in 1941--had become one of the great poets of their generation.


Title Barbara Guest: On "Eurydice" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Barbara Guest Criticism Target H(ilda) D(oolittle)
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 22 Feb 2022
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Herself Defined: The Poet H.D. and Her World
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