H. D. entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
HD, born American, who took British nationality after a marriage which lasted longer on paper than in practice, was a key figure in the international Imagist movement of the early twentieth century and in modernism more broadly: both through her own poetry and through her editing and dissemination of the work of others. As well as her imagistic pieces, she wrote complex longer poems (most published during her lifetime), translation, essays, reviews, outlines for films, and autobiographical novels which are, like most of her work, explorations of the self. Here she writes à clef of her own past, but also builds a web of mythical and psycho-analytical reference which makes her texts dense as well as rewarding. She is an explorer of the female psyche, and of the relation of gender to creativity and of myth to psychoanalysis.
10 September 1886 H. D. was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Bibliographic Citation link.
1 May 1915 The Egoist (edited by Harriet Shaw Weaver) published a special number on Imagism which was in part the result of H. D.'s editorial influence, even before this became official with Richard Aldington's departure to the army. Bibliographic Citation link.
By June 1916 H. D. assumed (while he was away in the army) the duties of Richard Aldington as literary editor of The Egoist (formerly The New Freewoman, of which Harriet Shaw Weaver was editor). Bibliographic Citation link.
27 September 1961 H. D. died at the Klinik Hislanden in Zurich. Bibliographic Citation link.
20 October 1961 The month after H. D. died, her long poem Helen in Egypt (probably her single best-known work and sometimes classified as epic) was published. Bibliographic Citation link.
15 November 1972 H. D.'s Hermetic Definition, a volume consisting of poems written in the final year of her life, was posthumously published. Bibliographic Citation link.
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