"H.D. by the end of her career became not only the most gifted woman poet of our century, but one of the most original poets in our language." – Alicia Ostriker of the American Poetry Review
Hilda Doolittle, christened H.D. by her mentor and first love Ezra Pound, is arguably one of the most important figures of twentieth-century poetry.
Born in Pennsylvania in 1886 to an academic family, the young Hilda Doolittle moved to London in 1911 to join her fiancé Ezra Pound and to begin her brilliant career as a poet. Introduced into English literary life through Pound’s influential circle, H.D. became an original member of the Imagists, the group of young firebrands who were launching poetry’s modernist revolution.
Her work is characterized by the intense strength of her images, economy of language, and use of classical mythology. However her poems did not receive widespread appreciation and acclaim during her lifetime, in part because her name was associated with the Imagist movement even as her voice had outgrown the movement's boundaries.
Neglect of H. D. can also be attributed to her times, as many of her poems spoke to an audience which was unready to respond to the strong feminist principles articulated in her work. Her later marriage to the poet Richard Aldrington, her lifelong relationship with Pound, her stormy and intimate years with D.H. Lawrence, and her exacting psychoanalysis with Sigmund Freud are all elements of the life of an artist who greatly affected the course of modern life.