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This review is taken from PN Review 22, Volume 8 Number 2, November - December 1981.

TRIBUTES BOTH WAYS HD (Hilda Doolittle), End to Torment, with poems from Hilda's Book by Ezra Pound (Carcanet) £3.95

End to Torment is a journal which extends from 7 March to 13 July 1958, a period during which the treason indictment brought against Ezra Pound was dismissed and he became free to leave Saint Elizabeth's Hospital. Past and present are contemporaneous within the journal and End to Torment becomes a diastole and systole of recollections. An American Ezra Pound 'manifests', reads William Morris to HD in a blossoming apple orchard, signs his poetry with a gadfly in an hommage to Whistler. A London Ezra Pound effectively creates 'H.D. Imagiste' and imagisme in the British Museum tea room. For a moment there is an indication of a Pound with European interests as HD is hurried out of the heat of Venice and into the cool of Santa Maria dei Miracoli. HD is evocative throughout the memoir, comparing the confined and wandering poet with affection, embodying Ezra Pound in spite of a singular view-point. Though HD 'esteems' his 'Gaudier-Brzeska, Wyndham Lewis, Brancusi enthusiasms' there is no real attempt to substantiate them. The paideuma is almost passed over and its patterned energies are hardly connected to Pound. A reader less inclined toward hermeticism might doubt some of HD's transformations: a tentative engagement to Pound is one thing and a 'spiritual love' is another. It is possible to read and disbelieve, however, which is fortunate, considering that 'HD-Hermes-Hermeticism' is unavoidable in End to Torment. The editorial work of the late Norman Holmes Pearson and of Michael King is lucid, the only noticeable ...


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