D[OOLITTLE]., H[ILDA]. (1886–1961). H. D., a poet, novelist,
dramatist, and translator whose works often incorporate sea imagery, was
born in Pennsylvania. Childhood visits to the seacoasts of Rhode Island and
Maine first inspired H. D., best known for her imagist poetry, to write about
the sea. “Hermes of the Ways” (1913), one of her earliest published poems,
imagines the god of the crossroads standing at the tide line, the shifting
boundary between sea and sand. Images of stormy beaches and seaside gardens link the poems collected in Sea Garden (1916), her first book of poetry.
Poems such as “Sea Rose” (1915), “Sea Iris” (1915), and “Sea Violet”
(1916) celebrate the strength and beauty of the flowers that thrive in the
harsh conditions at the water’s edge. In “Sheltered Garden” (1916) the poet
rejects the oppressive peace of an inland orchard protected from the wind
and waves in favor of the freedom of the coastline. Other books by H. D.
voice this fascination with the sea, including Hymen (1921), a collection of
poems; Hippolytus Temporizes (1928), a play; Heydlus (1928), a novel; and Red Roses from Bronze (1931), a volume of poetry. She died in Switzerland
in 1961.