Diaries Magazine

Inspired by Literary Grannies: H is for HD - "Writing is Love" YES!

Posted on the 08 April 2015 by Juliejordanscott @juliejordanscot

“Writing. Love is writing.” H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)

When I read her poems, I am reminded of another poet I adore, the soul opening Mary Oliver.

When I read of her life, I am reminded of many of the women whose work I have been using as a focus. She attended a woman’s college, Bryn Mawr, before she later attended University of Pennsylvania where she met Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams. She was misunderstood by most Americans, so a short trip abroad turned into a lifetime as a resident of Europe, primarily. Her life was filled with tragedy and passion, interchangeably.

She was an actor as well as a poet. She wrote memoir and novels, too. Her words were lyrical and they were few. Her poetry reminds me a bit of Adelaide Crapsey (Read about her on from my Women in Literary History Post - A is for Adelaide Crapsey.)

Though known as an imagist, she expanded those boundaries quickly. Then, as now, identification can prove to be fatal to one’s fame so the addition of “Feminist” to “Imagist” was a death knell for her work.  People applied “imagist” rather than actually experiencing her words so she had limited success and acclaim during her lifetime. Thankfully, she has become known more widely since her death due to stroke in 1961.

She was also a member of the “Pool Group”, three individuals: Kenneth Macpherson, Winifred Bryher and H.D. They lived, worked and created together in Switzerland. They published a literary magazine Close Up and also created a classic feature length silent film, Borderline. It featured an inter-racial theme and for the times very sophisticated sexual themes. HD had the leading female role in the production.

Among all the rest of these facts, HD had a daughter, Perdita, who was raised in the “Pool Group” home, where she was exposed to many avante garde artists and writers.

Can you imagine what that would have been like?

She went on to be a servicewoman in World War II before moving to the US and living a rather conventional adult life, complete with a home in Manhatten and four children, all of whom became writers.

Questions for Writing and Contemplation:

What comes up for you when you think of HD’s words, “Writing. Love is writing.”

How would you describe your love affair with writing?

How can you expand the boundaries of your creativity?

Sentence Starters

Writing is…

Love is….

Reflection Questions for the End of the Day

I would like to expand my writing to be more…

I want to make my love affair with writing more….

Today, I most enjoyed writing…

Tomorrow, I want…

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This blog post is a part of April's Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Visit here daily in April to be inspired by literary grannies across time.


Julie Jordan Scott inspires people to experience artistic rebirth via her programs, playshops, books, performances and simply being herself out in the world.  She is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy-extraordinaire and mixed-media artist  whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people's creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming in Spring, 2015 and beyond. Writing with Gertrude Stein

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