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Short poem

H. D. (Hilda Doolittle; 1886-1961)

Wash of Cold River

              1Wash of cold river
              2in a glacial land,
              3Ionian water,
              4chill, snow-ribbed sand,
              5drift of rare flowers,
              6clear, with delicate shell-
              7like leaf enclosing
              8frozen lily-leaf,
              9camellia texture,
            10colder than a rose;

            12that keeps the breath
            13of the north-wind --
            14these and none other;

            15intimate thoughts and kind
            16reach out to share
            17the treasure of my mind,
            18intimate hands and dear
            19drawn garden-ward and sea-ward
            20all the sheer rapture
            21that I would take
            22to mould a clear
            23and frigid statue;

            24rare, of pure texture,
            25beautiful space and line,
            26marble to grace
            27your inaccessible shrine.


3] Ionian: the Ionian Sea, an extension of the Meditteranean between Italy and Greece.

9] camellia: ornamental shrub with shiny leavesand bright flowers.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Collected Poems of H.D. (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1925): 215. York University Library Special Collections 4928.
First publication date: 1924
Publication date note: Heliodora and Other Poems (London: Jonathan Cape, 1924): 11. PS 3507 O726 H4 Robarts Library
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/21

Rhyme: irregularly rhyming (ababcdefghi ...)

Other poems by H. D.