“The Most Famous Photograph of Poets Ever Taken”

Erwin Tiongson’s Slate article (11 Dec. 2019), “The Most Famous Photograph of Poets Ever Taken,” features a 1948 photo published in Life Magazine. Although H.D. was not part of this group and indeed was convalescing in Switzerland at the time, the image features many members of her literary and personal circles.

Photo portrait of 16 poets, taken in 1948. The poets are arrayed in a group in front of the bookshelves of the Gotham Book Mart. Source: Slate Magazine.
Lisa Larsen/The Life Images Collection via Getty Images. Image links to the Slate Magazine article, “The Most Famous Photograph of Poets Ever Taken”

Nearly all of the 16 poets featured in the image contributed to Life and Letters Today, the magazine owned by Bryher from 1935-1950. The magazine was edited by Robert Herring, but correspondence between Herring and H.D. shows that she made hands-on, substantive contributions both to the content of the magazine and to the scope of contributors.

Of the poets pictured, the following were all Life and Letters Today contributors: Horace Gregory, Marya Zaturenska, Edith and Osbert Sitwell, Richard Eberhart, Charles Henri Ford, W.H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore, and Delmore Schwartz. Most of the rest were one degree of separation from those contributors.

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New book by Lara Vetter, A Curious Peril: H.D.’s Late Modernist Prose

The University Press of Florida has just published Lara Vetter’s new book, A Curious Peril: H.D.’s Late Modernist Prose. The monograph offers readings of a range of H.D.’s post-World War II writing: The Sword Went Out to Sea, By Avon River, White Rose and the Red, The Mystery, Magic Mirror, Compassionate Friendship, and End to Torment, with briefer discussion of Thorn Thicket, the Hirslanden Notebooks, and, from earlier in H.D.’s career, The Moment and Palimpsest. It also includes a chronology of H.D.’s writing from this period and an appendix mapping works that H.D. owned or read that inform Vetter’s discussion.

 

Here is the link to the publisher: http://upf.com/book.asp?id=9780813054568

 

 

 

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Using a Visual Understanding Environment to Understand H.D.’s Networks of Influence

H.D.’s archival records include correspondence from 213 individual correspondents, ranging from family and childhood friends to the central writers and editors of literary modernism.

See Bryher's influence throughout H.D.'s Network of Correspondents in this Node Map of the people in H.D.'s archives of correspondence.
See Bryher’s influence throughout H.D.’s Network of Correspondents in this Node Map of the people in H.D.’s archives of correspondence.

By mapping the inter-relationships among these correspondents, we can retrace the shape of Modernist networks that are often female-centered, America-centered, and familial.

 

Correspondents are sorted in nodes based upon the people who introduced H.D. to members of the wider network. Major nodes are anchored by Frances Gregg Wilkinson, Ezra Pound, Richard Aldington, Bryher, Edith Sitwell, Sylvia Dobson, and Norman Holmes Pearson.

Readers who would like to view the full map can download the VUE application at the Tufts Visual Understanding Environment Website. Then use it to open this file (file will download to your computer).

This Map of H.D.’s correspondence was developed by Dr. Celena E. Kusch and is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Tandy Cronyn Recites H.D.’s “Sheltered Garden” for PoetryTheatre

PoetryTheatre offers a dramatic recitation of H.D.’s “Sheltered Garden,” which just happens to be my favorite poem from Sea Garden. Show this alongside “Helen” or “Sea Rose” when teaching H.D. out of limited anthologies, and watch the students’ readings open up in delightful directions.

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Paul Robeson’s Transatlantic Welsh Concert Audio

Listen to the introduction and first song of the Transatlantic Welsh Concert performed by Paul Robeson in 1957 after his passport was revoked and he was unable to travel to the UK. The clip on YouTube includes the introduction to the concert by Will Paynter, president of the South Wales Miners, as well as Paul Robeson’s comments and “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel.” The SAIN Wales label includes a biography of Robeson through a Welsh lens as well as a downloadable copy of Robeson’s complete Transatlantic Exchange Concerts.

 

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“Borderline Breakdown” Montage by Brianna Harris

Brianna Harris’s YouTube site notes that she uses this montage of Borderline scenes when she teaches the film at Hampshire College. She writes, “I used the footage from the silent film “Borderline 1930″ to emphasize the themes of relationships, affairs, and racism vs. romance. You also see themes of gender roles and betrayal, truth, shame, and murder.” The contemporary soundtrack adds emphasis to those themes as well. This montage is great for those wishing to teach the film without showing the whole film in class as well as for anyone wishing to contrast the experience of the 1930 silent film with contemporary film viewing practice.

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Want to Keep in Touch with the H.D. International Society?

Egyptian Cat Postcard from H.D. files
Egyptian Cat Postcard from H.D. files. Public Domain.

Just a reminder. There are three quick ways to stay posted on H.D.-related news and information:

  1. Join the H.D. Society LISTSERV, coordinated by Lara Vetter at UNC-Charlotte
  2. Join the LondonHD Facebook group, administered by Amy Evans
  3. Use the #HDModernist hashtag on Twitter

Please pass along society contact information to your friends and colleagues who are studying H.D. and her circle.

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The (Modernist) Social Network Williams H.D. Pound Moore

Photo images of Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, and H.D. from the early 1920s, posted as the cover image of the (Modernist) Social Network Facebook Group Page, posted by Eric Alan Weinstein. UPenn.
Photo images of Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, and H.D. from the cover image of the (Modernist) Social Network Facebook Group Page, posted by Eric Alan Weinstein. UPenn.

Join this Facebook Group, The (Modernist) Social Network Williams H.D. Pound Moore, for a weekly free, open seminar hosted by Eric Alan Weinstein at UPenn.

Recent seminars have featured Susan McCabe discussing Paint It Today (written in 1919) and Rebecca Bowler introducing Borderline (1930).

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