Study Guide

Heat Lust

By H.D.

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O wind, rend open the heat,
cut apart the heat,
rend it to tatters. (1-3)

Whether this heat is just heat, or it's a metaphor for lust, it seems our speaker's not thrilled with it. She wants the wind to take it away, and her diction is pretty violent. Is lust ruining her life? Does she need the wind, or does she need a cold shower?

fruit cannot fall into heat
that presses up and blunts
the points of pears
and rounds the grapes. (6-9)

Here the heat is described as the cause of the fruit's ripening. It's not a far leap from ripening to sexual maturation. And let's not forget the role of fruit in that whole Adam and Eve and the expulsion from Eden thing. Desire may be part of maturation, but it can have some pretty scary consequences too.

Cut the heat—
plough through it,
turning it on either side
of your path. (10-13)

Our speaker seems really insistent here. She is so over this heat. And yet we detect some sexual innuendos in these lines. Is ploughing a metaphor for intercourse? Maybe the speaker doesn't want the wind; maybe she wants to get it on.

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