Pear Tree

    SILVER dust
    lifted from the earth,
    higher than my arms can reach,
    you have mounted.
    O silver,
    higher than my arms can 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.

    H.D. Hilda Doolittle (1886 - 1961)

Hilda Doolittle was a novelist and an American Poet of the imagist movement where poems lacked explanation, unrhymed and lacked regular beat. The power of an image was relied on to gain attention and convey emotion. Published in her first collection of works Sea Garden (1916) established her as an important voice among the radical young poets. In England, under the influence of Ezra Pound, who gave her the pen name H.D., she became associated with the imagists and developed into one of the most original poets of the group. Pear Tree is characteristic of her work which was composed of short precise verse in extremely free from. She focuses at first the on the height of the tree with higher than my arms can reach and then concentrates upon what she really wishes to be seen through her eyes as she by finally fills the picture with the imagery of purple hearted flowers in bloom. The bloom becomes the object of the poet's desire; yet she cannot touch or possess it only witness to its radiance and avow weakness before it. One of five flower poems in Sea Garden it underlines the revisionary treatment of the sentimental Victorian language of flowers from which the imagists wished to move away from as separation from the conventional or sentimental.


Bram, Robert Philips, Norma H. Dicky, "Doolittle, Hilda," Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia , 1988.

Public domain text taken from The Poets’ Corner:

CST Approved.

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