• First Language: English

  • Subjects:  Women’s Studies

  • Journal Section: Research Article

  • Authors: Tuğba KARABULUT

  • Dates: December 15, 2022

Hilda Doolittle, an American poet, playwright, and novelist known by the initials H.D., was one of the few female figures of the male-dominated early modernist era. Her early works are of crucial importance as they are associated with Imagism, the literary movement shaped by Ezra Pound as a reaction to the wordiness, indirectness, and sentimentality of Victorian and Romantic poetry. H.D. played an important role in Imagism. Ezra Pound, who suggested that Hilda Doolittle append the signature “H.D., Imagiste” to her works, introduced her as the leader of Imagism. Her first poetry collection, Sea Garden (1916), which includes twenty-seven poems, is a paragon of Imagist poetry. The poems were composed in free verse without thematic boundaries and with the use of harsh and impersonal style and diction, natural imagery, a melodious rhythm, and economical word choice. However, H.D.’s “The Garden,” an image-focused poem from this collection, goes far beyond Imagism. It is not simply a nature poem; the narrator glorifies fierce natural objects such as hard roses, rigorous winds, and thick air to represent women’s potential strength, resilience, and productivity. It also subverts the stereotypical representation of femininity and female vulnerability by displacing dominant patriarchal myths. The poem is brimming with encoded images that metaphorically reconstruct female imagery and representation. This paper investigates how “The Garden” unfolds hidden and disregarded concepts of femininity to reposition the female figure in the ideal imaginary “Garden” by saving her from the confinement of the man-made “Garden” in order to suggest a new representation of femininity, mirroring Pound’s call to “Make It New!”

Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), “The Garden”, imagism, representation of femininity, female vulnerability