Steve's Reviews > Trilogy: The Walls Do Not Fall / Tribute to the Angels / The Flowering of the Rod

Trilogy by H.D.
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's review
Apr 23, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: poetry, 2d-readings-the-good-stuff
Read from April 23 to 25, 2010

Perhaps more later, but I'll need to think about it, and re-read portions. Actually, in order to do it justice, I would probably need to re-read the entire book a few times. The 3 long poems are drenched in images and symbols, but not in a way that they become speed bumps for the reader, probably because overall the book has a great beauty that carries it along. Trilogy also has an intensity of vision that you'll rarely encounter in a poetry collection. Read it.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Jason I love these three poems (wrote a seminar paper on them in grad school). When I read them, it tends to be in December, though, for obvious reasons. Where did Shadow Country go?

Steve I read it a long while back, and as I recall was only ok with it (I think I liked her Helen better). I returned to it as a result of a recent conversation with a poet pal regarding Eliot. It is trippy, but I don't think it's anywhere close to Eliot's Four Quartets.

Shadow Country. At some point I'm sure I'll finish it. It started out great, but it faltered a bit at the very end -- the same place I had issues with in it's earlier, and longer version of Killing Mr. Watson. Still, the rewrite really improved on the original. PM may say he rewrote this as one "novel," but from paging through it, it's still three novels. Probably a better way to think of it is as Mr. Watson Omnibus Edition. Anyway, given its construction, I don't think taking breaks will hurt at all. It may actually help when considering the entire Watson effort.

Steve OK. I've finished the first two. And I take back what I said above (which is why it's always good to return to something that didn't quite click the first time around). Eliot's poems are great, but were also composed, carefully, over a period of time. Trying to get the music right. Nothing wrong with that. But these seem like they were written in a white heat. HD's eys must of been glowing as she was writing. This blew me away:


He might even be the authentic Jew
stepped out from Velazquez;

those eye-lids in the Velazquez
are lowered over eyes

that open, would daze, bewilder
and stun us with the old sense of guilt

and fear, but the terror of those eyes
veiled in their agony is over;

I assure you that the eyes
of Velazquez' crucified

now look straight at you,
and they are amber and they are fire.

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