Shawn Alfrey: On "Oread"

Conversely, in H.D.'s poem, the speaker is not a removed craftsman, but is herself a part of the experience of the poem. While she, too, transforms her object, the emphasis is not so much on the power of her virtuosic perceptions. Rather, the poem is an attempt to describe the speaker’s experience in terms of the other being she encounters.

Pound's direct treatment of the thing requires a hierarchical division between the viewer and his object where the viewer's "apparition" becomes a stabilizing truth. But H.D.'s Imagism is marked by an active, even dangerous, balancing of two forces. Indeed, her poem suggests that there can be no direct treatment of the thing except through such confrontations. "Oread" is not a description, but one part of a desired dialogue between two subjects, a wood nymph and a sea nymph or god. Articulating the energy of exchange, not the stasis of superposition, the poem evokes a dialogic encounter between the two.

From "Toward Intersubjective Knowledge: H.D.'s Liminal Poetics." SAGETRIEB 11.3


Title Shawn Alfrey: On "Oread" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Shawn Alfrey Criticism Target H(ilda) D(oolittle)
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 03 Sep 2015
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication No Data
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