Hilda Doolittle's Sea Rose

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Hilda Doolittle, also known as H.D., was on the forefront of the imagist movement of poetry during her lifetime. Like many of the most legendary painters, much of H.D.'s work was not well-recognized or acclaimed until after her death (“H.D.”). Her work is defined by “the intense strength of her images, economy of language, and use of classical mythology” (“H.D.”). Although lacking in classical mythology, “Sea Rose” is rife with the first two characteristics, making it an exemplary poem of not only H.D.'s work but of the imagist movement overall. The title “Sea Rose” presents the first contrast in the poem. Roses are grown on land; pairing the word with “sea” creates the idea of land versus water. This could mean that the rose is by the sea, but it could also hint that there is more to the poem than its literal meaning (there is no such thing as a “sea rose” itself). With the knowledge that H.D. is…show more content…
A second shift is made in the second half of this stanza, “single on a stem–/you are caught in the drift.” No longer is this a description from a third-person perspective, but a piece addressing someone, something (presumably the rose itself). Apart from the shift in perspective, the last two lines of the second stanza possess other aspects interesting to examine. First, “single” connotes that the rose is alone in its characteristics and journey. “Drift” in the next line can be defined as “a large pile of snow or sand that has been blown by the wind” (“Drift”) which is a good definition to have for this word as the next stanza solidifies this

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