Treasure Island

Hilda Doolittle

(10 September 1886 – 27 September 1961 / Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)


  • ''I have lain
    with strange lovers;
    each one was your
    power and steadiness
    that grew luminous.''
    Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961), U.S. poet. "Dodona."
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  • ''Your anger charms me,
    and yet all the time
    I think of chaste, slight hands,
    veined snow.''
    Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961), U.S. poet. "Hyacinth."
  • ''What do I care
    that the stream is trampled,
    the sand on the stream-bank
    still holds the print of your foot:
    the heel is cut deep.''
    Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961), U.S. poet. "Pursuit."
  • ''I watch the white stars darken;
    the day comes and the
    white stars dim
    and lessen
    and the lights fade in the city.''
    Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961), U.S. poet. "The Shepherd."
  • ''God of the people,
    no clod is too base for your thought,
    who made all will not cripple
    the mind with injunction.''
    Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961), U.S. poet. "Dodona."
  • ''Take all the garden spills,
    prodigal spender
    just as summer goes.''
    Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961), U.S. poet. "Hyacinth."
  • ''They have melted into the light
    and I am desolate;
    they have melted;
    each from his plinth,
    each one departs....''
    Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961), U.S. poet. "Pygmalion."
  • ''There are wrecks on the fore-beach,
    wind will beat your ship,
    there is no shelter in that headland,
    it is useless waste, that edge.''
    Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961), U.S. poet. "The Shrine."
  • ''I stand by your portal,
    a white pillar,
    Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961), U.S. poet. "Dodona."
  • ''Quivering he sways and quivering clings
    (Ah, rare her shoulders drawing back!)
    One moment, then the plunderer slips
    Between the purple flower-lips.''
    Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961), U.S. poet. "Hymen."

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O Hymen king.

Hymen, O Hymen king,
what bitter thing is this?
what shaft, tearing my heart?
what scar, what light, what fire
searing my eye-balls and my eyes with flame?
nameless, O spoken name,
king, lord, speak blameless Hymen.

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