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...this ecstasy, ecstasy in language, in beautiful language, is what carries me through the entire trilogy, not only content with her trick...not only content with these high-handed fictions but enchanted with her whole poem, not to say enraptured.

—Hayden Carruth, Hudson Review

This reissue of the classic Trilogy, by H. D. (Hilda Doolittle, 1886-1961), now includes a new introduction and a large section of referential notes for readers and students, compiled by Professor Aliki Barnstone. As civilian war poetry (written under the shattering impact of World War II), Trilogy’s three long poems rank with T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets and Ezra Pound’s Pisan Cantos. The first book of the Trilogy, published in the midst of the "fifty thousand incidents" of the London blitz, maintains the hope that though "we have no map;/ possibly we will reach haven,/heaven." Tribute to the Angels describes new life springing from the ruins, and finally, in The Flowering of the Rod––with its epigram, "…pause to give/thanks that we rise again from death and live"––faith in love and resurrection is realized in lyric and strongly Biblical imagery. About Trilogy, Denise Levertov wrote: ". . . H. D. spoke of essentials. It is a simplicity not of reduction but of having gone further out of the circle of known light, further toward an unknown center."


Poetry by Hilda Doolittle (H.D.)

published September 1st, 1998