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H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)

PoemTalk Podcast #36, discussing Jennifer Scappettone's "Vase Poppies" and H.D.'s "Sea Poppies," October 8, 2010

Listen to the complete recording and read program notes for the episode at Jacket2.

Reading from Helen in Egypt

complete reading (37:52): MP3 , RealAudio

The text of Helen in Egypt is available from New Directions.

Contents of the Helen in Egypt Sound Recording:

Page numbers in parentheses refer to the New Directions edition of Helen in Egypt.

  1. Commentary (0:30): MP3
  2. Pallinode 1.3, 16-30 (p. 6) (0:40): MP3
  3. Pallinode 1.1, 22-24 (p. 2) (0:12): MP3
  4. Pallinode 1.4 (pp. 7-8) (1:18): MP3
  5. Commentary (0:19): MP3
  6. Pallinode 1.6 (pp. 11-12) (1:19): MP3
  7. Pallinode 1.7 (pp. 13-14) (1:17): MP3
  8. Commentary (0:10): MP3
  9. Pallinode 1.8 (pp. 16-17) (2:00): MP3
  10. Commentary (0:28): MP3
  11. Pallinode 3.3 (pp.39-40) (0:57): MP3
  12. Pallinode 2.4 (pp. 24-25) (1:45): MP3
  13. Commentary (1:01): MP3
  14. Leuke 3.1 (pp. 132-133) (1:18): MP3
  15. Leuke 3.2 (pp. 134-135) (0:53): MP3
  16. Commentary (0:19): MP3
  17. Leuke 3.3 (pp. 136-137) (0:57): MP3
  18. Leuke 2.2 (pp. 121-122) (1:28): MP3
  19. Commentary (0:15): MP3
  20. Leuke 3.6 (pp. 141-142) (0:53): MP3
  21. Leuke 3.7 (pp. 143-144) (1:10): MP3
  22. Leuke 3.8 (pp. 145-146) (0:58): MP3
  23. Commentary (0:06): MP3
  24. Pallinode 4.1 (pp. 49-50) (1:09): MP3
  25. Pallinode 4.3 (pp. 53-54) (1:23): MP3
  26. Commentary (0:14): MP3
  27. Leuke 2.3 (p. 123) (0:36): MP3
  28. Leuke 2.5 (pp. 125-126) (0:55): MP3
  29. Leuke 2.6 (pp. 127-128) (1:04): MP3
  30. Leuke 2.7 (pp. 129-130) (0:55): MP3
  31. Commentary (0:05): MP3
  32. Eidolon 2.5, 1-9 (p. 230) (0:17): MP3
  33. Eidolon 2.4 (p. 229) (0:40): MP3
  34. Eidolon 2.6, 1-9 (p.232) (0:20): MP3
  35. Commentary (0:03): MP3
  36. Eidolon 2.7 (pp. 234-235) (1:13): MP3
  37. Eidolon 2.8 (pp. 236-237) (0:56): MP3
  38. Commentary (0:13): MP3
  39. Eidolon 3.1 (pp. 238-240) (1:27): MP3
  40. Commentary (0:12): MP3
  41. Eidolon 3.3 (pp. 243-244) (1:14): MP3
  42. Eidolon 3.4 (p. 245) (0:59): MP3
  43. Commentary (0:04): MP3
  44. Eidolon 3.5 (pp. 247-248) (1:12): MP3
  45. Eidolon 3.7 (pp.251-252) (0:52): MP3
  46. Eidolon 6.8, 16-18 (p. 304) (0:08): MP3

A Brief Note on H.D.’s Recording of Helen in Egypt:
H.D. made these recordings of Helen in Egypt in Zurich in 1955 (Morris 60). In a letter dated February 3, 1955, to her friend and literary executer, Norman Holmes Pearson, H.D. describes the recordings: "I am so happy about the disk-work [sic], went in yesterday by car and E[rich Heydt] came along and helped me.  I did just 21 minutes this time, some of the first section with captions.  It came up quite well--the first set, of Jan. 26, sent surface, is really the second disk, in time.  The first one I did is more lyrical and has sections from Eidolon; this one of Feb. 2 has Egypt and Some Leuke; one side of disk is Achilles, the other, Paris. . ." (Hollenberg 176-7).Pearson, in his reply (dated February 17, 1955), is equally as enthusiastic about the quality of the recordings, which he receives the same month, and suggests that they find a publisher for them.

Since these recordings were made before Helen in Egypt was completed and published, the ordering of the sections read does not exactly coincide with the subsequent published text version.  The prose sections were not yet written (as H.D. came up with the idea of adding the prose sections while making the recordings).  So, in the recordings, the lyrics are interspersed with H.D.'s preliminary commentary, which she later reworks into the published prose sections.

 Hollenberg, Donna Krolik. Between History and Poetry: The Letters of H.D. and Norman Holmes Pearson. Iowa City: U Iowa P, 1997.
Morris, Adalaide. How to Live/What to Do: H.D.’s Cultural Poetics. Urbana; Chicago: U Illinois P, 2003.

— Aliki Caloyeras (2008)

These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. © 2006 by the Estate of H.D. Used by permission of New Directions Publishing Company. All rights reserved by Estate of H.D. and New Directions. Distributed by PennSound.