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H.D., courtesy of Bettman/Corbis
The anonymous collective wisdom of Wikipedia will tell you that H.D. is “an American poet, novelist and memoirist known for her association with the early 20th century avant-garde Imagist group of poets such as Ezra Pound and Richard Aldington.” She retains the aura of a Delphic priestess, a queer cultic charisma that appealed to waves of self-selected members of the elect—in the early years Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Richard Aldington (her first husband), D. H. Lawrence; later such attendants as Norman Holmes Pearson; and still later, after her death, other scholars, often feminist, who brought her life and work back into focus in the 1970s and 1980s. And there is too an ongoing esoteric line of influence—transference? discipleship? inhabitation? telepathy?—that continues through poets’ transmissions and study, Robert Duncan’s H.D. Book
and, in another key, Barbara Guest’s Herself Defined
among the notable monuments of this line.