Wednesday, June 17, 2009

for hilda doolittle (7)

for hilda doolittle
o for some sharp swish of a branch--
there is no scent of resin
in this place,
no taste of bark, of coarse weeds,
aromatic, astringent--
only border on border of scented pinks.
from “song”
the greatest of the imagists,
yr sculptor’s sensibility let
u fix, even animate an icon
with all its sensate properties –
be it snow-ribbed sand or a
frost-defying green-fleshed
melon or a grecian statue
stepping out of marble into
life. each image claimed yr
loving care. u took essential
wordstones, chipped away
until their roughshapes came,
surrendered to yr smoothing.
yr poet’s touch set free the
phrase whose embedded cells,
figures & motifs made them
much the more than syllables,
shaped them into cadenced
beats, into periods & points
of motion & arrival… & then
u did the unthinkable, u
shed yr imagist clothes, yr
impersonality & moved on,
to the long poem wherein u,
the poet-prophet, walked thru’
bleak & broken landscapes,
amid the ruins of modernist
masculine symbol systems
seeking the goddess, the
sexually ecstatic mystery;
giving a feminine voice to
classic myths, creating bold,
new woman myths & etching
them on a woman’s wax-coated
palimpsest soul.

©Joseph McNair;2009


  1. her movement from premier imagist to as you say poet/prophet is still mind boggling. But a recurring trend in all of yr tributes is the evolution of the female voice free of patriarchial restrictions. I like what you have done here

  2. Nice poem, great poet to write about, i love the mithological touch in her poems.Important person in regards to the feminist movements.

  3. I am new to your site and have been taken aback of your ability to reach into the words of a poet an give honor of the poet and poetry. As a woman I am able to accept the currents that you express of this poet, job well done.

  4. Really nice poem, I can tell that you really like females the way you compare the feminist movement to the voice is very creativity.