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The H.D. Book
This magisterial work, long awaited and long the subject of passionate speculation, is an unprecedented exploration of modern poetry and poetics by one of America's most acclaimed and influential postwar poets. What began in 1959 as a simple homage to the modernist poet H.D. developed into an expansive and unique quest to arrive at a poetics that would fuel Duncan's great ...more
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I read this to treat my Duncan allergy. Like with most remedies, it brought some relief but not really a cure. I appreciate Duncan’s championing of the suppressed and heterodox wherever they appear, in fairy tales or Madame Blavatsky (his discussion of her struck me as one of the book’s highlights) or Freudian psychology or Modernist poets like H.D. who get airbrushed out of the pictures they complicate. He’s insightful too about how repressed ideas tend to camouflage themselves in the child-lik ...more
Dec 09, 2010 Jeff rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
I first started collecting a bootleg copy of Robert Duncan's The H.D. Book in the mid-Eighties, reading in it here and there, until Steven Meyer, putting together his own (and whole) text from the individual little magazine publications, in 1998 for a class he was teaching, let me have one, and so I read it entire then. The new University of California edition is published in the aftermath of a lawsuit to settle the Duncan estate; Robert Bertholf, who for many years guided the estate, relinquish ...more
This is a wonderful, thick, dense book. It took me months to finish, but it was worth the trip. It was like a whole course in the work and era of H.D., Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams. Then in the final sections it becomes highly personal, Duncan working out from his own dreams and imagination.