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How to Read a Poem
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Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay
Form and Meter
Free Verse Blazon"Helen" is written in free verse. It has no regular rhyme scheme or meter. That doesn't mean that it's a crazy mess, though. Few good poems are really crazy messes, even if they ar...
We don't know too much about the speaker of "Helen." We don't know if the speaker's male or female, but we'll refer to the speaker as "she," just to keep things simple. What we can say about the sp...
"Helen" is about the Greek opinion of Helen of Troy, ex-Greek, current Trojan, who lives in Troy… or at least she did in the wayback days. So where does this poem take place? Not really anywhere...
"Helen" is incredibly sound-y. And by "sound-y," we mean awesome to listen to. It's got tons of repetitions, a big bunch of rhymes ("smiles" and "reviles"), a big pile of assonance ("hates" and "fa...
What's Up With the Title?
"Helen" is about the most famous of Helen of all time. No, not Helen Keller, not Helen Mirren, but Helen of Troy. Legend has it that Helen of Troy was the most beautiful woman of all time, and that...
Spare Language There aren't many words in H.D.'s poems, but the words that are there pack a punch. H.D. is known for doing more with less, and she was one of the founders of the Imagist movement of...
(3) Base CampH.D.'s "Helen" doesn't have any fancy two-dollar words. It doesn't have some crazy rhyme scheme or meter. It doesn't have off-the-wall references (besides the reference to, you know, M...
Helen of Troy: now a line of beauty products. Ah romance. H.D.'s first love was modernist poet Ezra Pound. But if fell apart after many years of forbidden love (many of their acquaintances didn't a...
G"Helen" is a poem about Helen of Troy, the foxiest lady ever, but it's not exactly a poem that'll get your heart racing. Helen's beauty in the poem is cold and still and almost deathly. But hey, i...
Literary and Philosophical ReferencesHelen of Troy
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