14 June 2018

Poetry Thursday - Pear Tree by H.D.

Pear Tree

Silver dust   
lifted from the earth,   
higher than my arms reach,   
you have mounted.   
O silver,
higher than my arms reach   
you front us with great mass;   
no flower ever opened   
so staunch a white leaf,   
no flower ever parted silver
from such rare silver;   
O white pear,   
your flower-tufts,   
thick on the branch,   
bring summer and ripe fruits
in their purple hearts.

Hilda Doolittle was one of the leaders of the Imagist movement in the United States. "Her work is characterized by the intense strength of her images, economy of language, and use of classical mythology. 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." (via)

These photos, taken at Hampton Court this week, sent me hunting for a "golden pear tree" but  HD's silvery poem won out over the little-nutmeg nursery rhyme!

Jill Watson, the sculptor, writes on her website: "This commission was to create an eye catching entrance to direct school children coming to the new Clore Learning Centre. Built by Feildon Clegg Bradley Studio at the end of the historic soldiers barracks at Hampton Court Palace, the design has the formality of soldiers and honours the centuries of fabulous gardens of the palace.
The golden archway leads the children to the Learning Centre where they have to touch the bronze doorhandles to enter the building. The handles are made up of 26 historical figures connected to life at the palace."

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