A fresh look at the life and work of modernist poet H.D.
Winged Words puts the work of H.D., including her poetry, translations, and prose, in the context of her life. Because the majority of H.D.’s oeuvre was unpublished until recently, author Donna Hollenberg, who’s written three previous books about H.D., is able to account for and analyze significantly more of H.D.’s work than previous biographers.
H.D.’s friends and lovers were a veritable Who’s Who of Modernism, and Hollenberg gives us a glimpse into H.D.’s relationships with them. With rich detail, the biography follows H.D. from her early years in America with her family, to her later years in England during both world wars, to Switzerland, which would eventually become H.D.’s home base. It explores her love affairs with both men and women; her long friendship with Bryher; the birth of her daughter, Perdita, and her imaginative bond with her; and her marriage to (and later divorce from) fellow poet Richard Aldington. Additionally, the book includes scenes from her relationships with Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, and D.H. Lawrence; H.D.’s fascination with spiritualism and the occult; and H.D.’s psychoanalysis with Sigmund Freud. The first new biography of H.D. to be published in over four decades, Winged Words is a must-read resource for anyone conducting research on H.D.
Donna Krolik Hollenberg is Professor Emerita at the University of Connecticut.