H.D. presumes a whiteness equivalent to and inseparable from a positively masterful existence. The poet recognizes, interrogates, and struggles
with this presumption only to succumb to its invincible allure each time she
confronts it. H.D.'s "white" often signifies perfection, in particular, the perfection, power, and dominance of white people. Paradoxically, the poetry
also intimates the unspeakable Afroasiatic heritage, including the black
bodiliness, fixed in white Western civilization.
Friedman argues "The Moravians were able to live with the Indians in peace
because they were themselves persecuted exiles, 'political and religious refugees'
whose history went back at least to a Greek church in 9th-century Constantinople. . . . The Moravians who founded Bethlehem [ Pennsylvania] came from all
over Europe, brought a love for learning and music with them, and looked even to
the cultures of Asia, Africa, and Arabia, as well as the Native Americans" ( Exile 46).
A palimpsest is a paper which has been written upon more than once, both
the surface writing and fragments of the erasure(s) are visible.
The "writing-on-the-wall" experience, also referred to as the Corfu vision,
occurred to H.D. in April 1920 while she was with Bryher on the island of Corfu.
The images that H.D. saw took shape on the wall between the foot of her bed and
her wash stand. They were outlined in light. They formed sequentially a profile of
a head, a chalice, a ladder, and an angel named Victory or Nike. These images
seemed to her to have been projected cinematically onto the wall.
Hermetic Books is a written collection dating from the first century A.D. to the
fourth century A.D. of Thoth's (the Egyptian god of wisdom) revelations.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: White Women Writing White:H.D., Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, and Whiteness.
Contributors: Renée R. Curry - Author.
Publisher: Greenwood Press.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 2000.
Page number: 74.
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