Thursday, February 09, 2006

Some Study Questions for H.D.'s Trilogy:
(by Trilogy I mean "The Walls DoNot Fall," "Tribute to the Angels," and "The Flowering of the Rod")


1. In "The Walls Do Not Fall, H.D. makes tribute to the tradition of the word as triumphant over that of the sword, invoking the biblical assertion the "in the beginning / was the word" (section 10). Then, in section one of "Tribute to the Angels," she solicits the poet and the orator to take the rubble around them and "melt down and integrate, / re-invoke, re-create." What is her opinion of the role of the poet in the aftermath of the war, and how does she affirm this role(s) in Trilogy?

2. In the same line as Pound and Eliot, H.D.’s poetry is heavily weighted in classical tradition, with perpetual reference to the Bible, Greek mythology, and ancient goddess symbology from Egypt, and the Middle East. What (modern?) methods does she use to connect these traditions to each other and to her experience of WWI? What is her interpretation/vision of the war, and how does she use these symbols and traditions to communicate it? Do you agree with her interpretation/portrayal of the war?

3. Think about the tones that H.D. uses throughout Trilogy. When is it (if ever) hopeful, angry, inciting, didactic, prophetic, uncertain, etc., and why? Compare and contrast these tones with those found in Eliot and Pound’s respective work on similar subject matter (i.e. the state of things after WWI).


1. What do you make of H.D's consistent use of couplets? How do the couplets serve (or not) her modern/imagist agenda and/or the subject matter in Trilogy?

2. How does she use language (rhythm and repetition) in "The Flowering of the Rod" to convey her cyclical theme of death/destruction and life/resurrection?


1. The bio in our anthology states that "both H.D. and imagism were born at the same moment." How is H.D. the embodiment of the imagist movement? What makes her work the ultimate representation of imagism?

1 comment:

rodney k said...

Terrific questions! Do you want us to get some pre-class discussion of them going on the blog? Will we be revisiting them in class on Tuesday? Thanks to both of you for the thought you put into these. Should help to shape a great discussion.