Leda by Hilda Doolittle

Leda

Where the slow river
meets the tide,
a red swan lifts red wings
and darker beak,
and underneath the purple down
of his soft breast
uncurls his coral feet.

Through the deep purple
of the dying heat
of sun and mist,
the level ray of sun-beam
has caressed
the lily with dark breast,
and flecked with richer gold
its golden crest.

Where the slow lifting
of the tide,
floats into the river
and slowly drifts
among the reeds,
and lifts the yellow flags,
he floats
where tide and river meet.

Ah kingly kiss —
no more regret
nor old deep memories
to mar the bliss;
where the low sedge is thick,
the gold day-lily
outspreads and rests
beneath soft fluttering
of red swan wings
and the warm quivering
of the red swan’s breast

Hilda Doolittle

Hilda Doolittle
Born: 10 September 1886, Pennsylvania, USA
Nationality: American
Died: 27 September 1961, Zurich, Switzerland

Doolittle was a novelist, poet, and memoirist associated with the early 20th-century avant-garde imagist poets, including Richard Aldington and Ezra Pound. Doolittle published under the pen name H.D. She grew up just outside Philadelphia, moving to London in 1911. Married once, Doolittle had several relationships with both men and women and unapologetic about her sexuality became an icon for both the LGBT and feminist movements when her poems, plays, and essays reappeared in the 1970s and 1980s

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