The H.D. Trilogy Wiki–Covering The Walls Do Not Fall, Tribute to the Angels, and The Flowering of the Rod

Wikis > The H.D. Trilogy Wiki--Covering The Walls Do Not Fall, Tribute to the Angels, and The Flowering of the Rod

In light of the new international recognition of H.D.’s Trilogy, this wiki, edited by Celena E. Kusch and Rebecca Walsh and launched in October 2014, offers a collaborative space for H.D. scholars worldwide to share annotations, connections, notes, and details that might not otherwise surface in scholarly publications. See Citing the Wiki and Conditions of Use and Information for Contributors


Note on Trilogy Editions

The three books of Trilogy were released consecutively from 1944-1946

  • H.D. The Walls Do Not Fall. London and New York: Oxford UP, 1944.
  • H.D. Tribute to Angels. London and New York: Oxford UP, 1945.
  • H.D. The Flowering of the Rod. London and New York: Oxford UP, 1946.

Editions of Trilogy, including all three long poems include the following:

  • H.D. Trilogy. Fwd. Norman Holmes Pearson. Cheadle: Carcanet P, 1973. (2nd impr. 1988, 3rd. impr. 1997)
  • H.D. TrilogyFwd. Norman Holmes Pearson. New York: New Directions P, 1973.
  • H.D. Collected Poems 1912-1944. Intro. Louis L. Martz. New York: New Directions P, 1983. (paperback in 1986) **Includes full text of Trilogy.
  • H.D. Collected Poems 1912-1944. Intro. Louis L. Martz. Manchester: Carcanet, 1986. **Includes full text of Trilogy.
  • H.D. TrilogyIntro. and Notes Aliki Barnstone. New York: New Directions P, 1998.


  • H.D. Eisag?g? st?n Trilogia t?s H.D. Trans. Liana Sakelliou-Schultz, Thanas?s Dokos, and Th?mas Stravel?s. Athens: Gutenberg, 1999.
  • H.D. Trilogia. Trans. Marina Camboni. Caltanisseta, Roma: S. Sciascia, 1993. See related article in HOW2.
  • H.D. Trilogía. Trans. and intro. Natalia Carbajosa. Barcelona: Lumen, 2008. See related article in La Opinión.
  • H.D. TrilogieTrans. Bernard Hoepffner. Paris: J. Corti, 2011.

Background to Writing Trilogy

When H.D. wrote Trilogy during World War Two, she was also completing three, intertextual prose works: The Gift, Tribute to Freud, and Majic Ring. Expanding understanding of these prose works will also revise and expand understanding of Trilogy. 

Trilogy is a poem of World War Two. H.D. thought of her writing as her contribution to winning the war–hence her three highly intertextual wartime works, Trilogy, which presents her vision of peace under a beneficent mother goddess, The Gift, which is her view of how she got her vision from her maternal ancestors, and Tribute to Freud, which shows how psychoanalysis assured her of her visionary gifts and helped her survive the devastation. All three works combine to free H.D.’s reputation from the limited Imagist label (which in my mind has sexist overtones) and to establish her as a major modernist writer on a par with Pound, Eliot and Joyce. [contributed by Jane Augustine]

Trilogy and The Gift

The Gift by H.D.: The Complete Text (Ed. and intro. Jane Augustine, Gainesville: UP Florida, 1998) includes H.D.’s memoir of her childhood and spiritual foundations, reflections about the London blitz, as well as her notes about her family history, genealogy, and Moravian history. H.D.’s autobiographical narrative and notes offer an context for the religious and spiritual views represented poetically in Trilogy. For more information, see Augustine’s introduction to The Gift by H.D.: The Complete Text, which connects the spiritual, artistic, and psychic “gifts” of H.D.’s childhood with her spiritualist work in séances during World War II. Augustine notes that these connections inspired H.D. to write Trilogy to “help end the war.” The essay shows how Zinzendorf’s view of the feminine Holy Spirit as “mother and Comforter” relate to H.D.’s vision of the “dream lady” or “Poet’s Lady” in Trilogy.

See Jane Augustine’s essay, “Teaching H.D. and Spirituality” in Approaches to Teaching  H.D.’s Poetry and Prose (Eds. Annette Debo and Lara Elizabeth Vetter. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2011).

See Charlotte Mandel’s “H.D.’s The Gift: A Review” for more information about the connections between The Gift and Trilogy.

Trilogy and Tribute to Freud (“Writing on the Wall”/”Advent”)

See Jane Augustine’s “Ecstasy’s Alembic: H.D.’s Poetics of Magic and Psychoanalysis during World War Two” Traditions sur mesure : exploration des poétiques expérimentales américaines, de H.D. à Michael Heller/Tailor-Made Traditions. The Poetics of U.S. Experimental Verse from H.D. to Michael Heller. Spec. issue of Anglophonia/Caliban 35 (2014): 35-50.

Trilogy and Majic Ring

See Demetres Tryphonopoulos’s penetrating analysis of Greek myth and thought in his learned and detailed introduction to Majic Ring by H.D., UP Florida, 2009.

See Helen Sword’s “H.D.’s Majic Ring.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 14.2 (1995): 347-362.

This connection is also the subject of Matte Robinson’s dissertation, “‘The Instrument through Which the Inner Soul or the Occult Can Also Filter’: H.D.’s Majic Ring as Occult Journal and as Companion Piece to Trilogy.” (U New Brunswick, 2011).

Trilogy and Within the Walls and What Do I Love

For more details of H.D.’s life and surroundings in World War Two London, see Annette Debo’s excellent introduction to her edition of H.D.’s Within the Walls and What Do I Love?, published by UP Florida (Gainesville) in fall 2014.


The Walls Do Not Fall (1944)

H.D. dedicated The Walls Do Not Fall to Bryher.

Bryher still had the name Winifred Ellerman when she met H.D. on July 17, 1918. She chose Bryher as her surname in 1920 when she was about to publish her novel Development. Its title page gives the author’s name as W. Bryher. She did not want to sign her famous father’s name to her writing but preferred to make her reputation on her own (Bryher, Heart to Artemis 188). [contributed by Jane Augustine]

Annotations (listed by lyric number.line number)

1.24: In the reference to Samuel shivering, the specific Biblical passage H.D. evidently has in mind is I Samuel ch.3, lines 3-10, in which Samuel hears God calling him. She felt literary inspiration as the voice of God summoning her to be a prophet in her writing. [contributed by Jane Augustine]

30.19-20: When H.D. refers to the fish that moves “two-ways,” the Fish in this context is the zodiacal sign Pisces because, according to astrology, in H.D.’s time, the age of Pisces was passing away and the Age of Aquarius was coming; the transition was signaled by the appearance of Halley’s comet in 1910 (Gift 11, 26n23). The zodiacal sign also faces two ways, with two parenthesis-style curves back to back, ) ( joined by a horizontal bar through the middle.  [contributed by Jane Augustine]

Tribute to the Angels (1945)

Annotations (listed by lyric number.line number)

8.9: When H.D. refers to Marah-mar, in Exodus 15:23, “marah” or bitter is the name of the spring from which the Israelites could not drink, although desperate for water on the third day after crossing the Red Sea. See also Ruth I: 20: “call me not Naomi; call me Mara for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.” [contributed by Jane Augustine]

29.6: In “The Muse in the Museum: Aesthetic Experience in H.D.’s Trilogy,” Frank Capogna pointed out that H.D. sent a Christmas postcard of Raphael’s Madonna of the Chair to Viola Baxter Jordan in 1944. A digital copy of H.D. letter to Viola Baxter Jordan is available through the Yale Collection of American Literature at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (presented at the American Literature Association Conference, 23 May 2015, Boston, Massachusetts)  [contributed by Celena E. Kusch]

The Flowering of the Rod (1946)

Annotations (listed by lyric number.line number)


External Links

Book List: Hilda Doolittle–Trilogy.” The American Library in Paris. The American Library in Paris, 2013. Web. NOTE: suggested reading list for the Agrégation d’Anglais

Bryant, Marsha, ed. “On Trilogy, Part 1 (The Walls Do Not Fall).” Modern American Poetry. Department of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999-2013. Web.

Cazé, Antoine. “H.D. Trilogy: Bibliographie Agrégation 2013.Société des Anglicistes de l’Enseignement Supérieur. SAES, 2013. Web.

For Further Research

Aji, Hélène, Antoine Cazé, Agnès Derail-Imbert, and Clément Oudart, eds. H.D. and Modernity. Paris: Éditions Rue d’Ulm, 2014.

—. H.D.’s Trilogy and Beyond. Paris: Presses Universitaires de Paris Ouest, 2014.

**NOTE: The two volumes above contain the papers presented at the conference H.D. and Modernity at the École Normale Supérieure, Paris, December 5-7, 2013, organized by the editors.

Manning, Nicholas, and Clément Oudart. Signs of Eternity: H.D.’s Trilogy. Paris: Éditions Fahrenheit, 2013.

McMahon, Fiona. H.D.: Trilogy. Neuilly: Atlande, 2014.

Citing the Wiki and Conditions of Use:

When citing this wiki as a source, please include the contributor name for the individual note(s) from which you are using information, followed by publication information for the wiki as a whole. Unmarked contributions may be attributed to the editors. An MLA Style citation would be as follows:

[Last Name of Contributor], [First Name of Contributor]. The H.D. Trilogy Wiki. Eds. Celena Kusch and Rebecca Walsh. H.D. International Society, [Date of modification (see the bottom of the page)]. Web. [Date Accessed].

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For references to particular words/phrases/lines within each of the three sections of Trilogy, cite the lyric number and the line number within. For instance, a gloss on “incident” would go under The Walls Do Not Fall 1.1. Please note if you are using the 1940s Oxford editions, which have minor textual differences from the various New Directions editions.