Friday, March 24, 2006

WCW on H.D.

WCW remembering a turn-of-the-century afternoon walk with H.D., when she was still Hilda Doolittle and Pound and WCW were undergraduates at Penn:

"As we went went along--talking of what?--I could see that we were in for a storm and suggested that we turn back.


She asked me if when I started to write I had to have my desk neat and everything in its place, if I had to prepare the paraphernalia, or if I just sat down and wrote.

I said I liked to have things neat.

Ha, ha!

She said that when she wrote it was a great help, she thought and practised it, if taking some ink on her pen, she'd splash it on her clothes to give her a feeling of freedom and indifference toward the mere means of the writing.

Well--if you like it.

There were some thunderclaps to the west and I could see that it really was going to rain damned soon and hard. We were at the brink of a grassy pasture facing west, quite in the open, and the wind preceding the storm was in our faces. Of course, it was her party and I went along with her.

Instead of running or even walking toward a tree Hilda sat down in the grass at the edge of a hill and let it come.

"Come, beautiful rain," she said, holding out her arms. "Beautiful rain, welcome."

And I behind her not inclined to join in her mood. And let me tell you it rained, plenty. It didn't improve her beauty or my opinion of her--but I had to admire her if that's what she wanted."

--from The Autobiography (1951)


Anonymous said...

I love this story. I'm going to have to check out the autobiography. Thanks, Rodney.

rodney k said...

You'll love it! It's filled with stuff like this.