(15/07/56 / Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, Eire.)

' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' Telling The Waves Poems

As the boat

foam hits us
splashes our faces

as it cuts across
wave after wave

chasing us

so easy now
to leave behind

our humanity

become sea sprites
made of only

spray & sunlight

become a thing
of nothing

foam on the wave

telling poems
to the winds

to the sea

reciting her

Capri enchanted
as it listens to us


H.D. smiling.


And this is Hilda's wonderful OREAD!


Whirl up, sea—
whirl your pointed pines,
splash your great pines
on our rocks,
hurl your green over us,
cover us with your pools of fir.

H.D.(Hilda Doolittle) ...the literary jewel in the IMAGIST canon and at the heart of the Vorticist ideal.

This her brilliant tour de force that sparkles like a firefly in the mind.

An oread is a nymph of the mountains in Greek mythology...here intensely entranced by the sea’s power to become a forest of waves...to transform itself metaphorically into this stunning metamorphosis where we see sea as forest and... forest is sea courtesy of the imagination’s tuning fork resonating back and forth between both meanings yet holding them as one.

Or being a spirit of mountain and pine she can only understand the sea in terms of her own self reference. Oread herself is only present in her absence...flitting by in the title...and endowing us with her seeing...the gift of her perception... the wonder and awe of this sublime moment in time as one image transforms itself into another and fuses forest and sea into such a singularity.

I remember teaching this to a little Dutch girl who asked what the strange cyclist from another land was reading at the end of their field after her Mummy allowed us to camp there. She had never seen the sea and was to go the next day to the seaside.

I happen to be reading this and she happened to ask and so OREAD took to the air and graced her mind with its presence. She was delighted with the poem and the explanation and went in for her tea able to say it to Mummy and tell Mummy just what it meant. She said she was going to change her name to Oread...I wonder if she ever did.

Here again in Capri she appeared to me as I conjured her up from the waves and she spoke to the sea and to time and to whatever future I would belong to...in time...in time.

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Comments (1)

I love this poem and the tributes you include to HD and her OREAD. Sparkling images - it's like being on a speeding boat, soaked in spray and bathed in sun. xxx Jan