H. D.

Hilda Doolittle, better known by her initials HD ( born September 10, 1886 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, † September 27, 1961 in Zurich, Switzerland ) was an American writer.


Doolittle toured Europe and returned after 1911 no longer return to the United States. She settled in London, where she in 1913 the English writer Richard Aldington married. He had affairs and the couple alienated soon (divorce until 1937 ). On March 31, 1919 their daughter Frances Perdita Aldington was born, whose father was the painter Cecil Grey. A new friend, the British writer and heiress Bryher (actually Winifred Ellerman ) took ill in pregnancy of the Spanish flu mother and daughter with him on, HD survived the pandemic and called Bryher, which at that time was even close to suicide, their lifesaver. H. D. remained until the death Bryhers companion.

Perdita grew up with her ​​mother, whose lover Bryher and Bryhers respective husband ( from 1921 Robert McAlmon, 1927 Kenneth Macpherson ) on. The unusual family situation was complicated by the fact that Bryhers husband Macpershon was the lover of the bisexual HD, Bryher and Perdita taught according to their own eccentric methods of education at home. 1928 adopted Bryher and Perdita Macpershon. From 1929 HD lived with Bryher, whose mother whose husband Macpershon and Perdita first in Montreux on Lake Geneva, then mostly in Bryhers Kenwin Villa in La Tour -de- Peilz at Vevey. In 1933, HD moved to Vienna to any therapy of Sigmund Freud. About this experience, she published in 1943 the book Tribute to Freud.

Edited by Bryher literary magazine Life and Letters Today publications include the poems of HD 1930 produced Bryher with her husband the experimental film Borderline with Paul Robeson and HD in the lead roles.

At the age of 75 years, Hilda Doolittle died on 27 September 1961 in Zurich.


A large part of their literary work are translation from the Greek and the free editing. Here she was influenced not only by her husband Aldington, but also from the other Imagists, which they soon joined. She was particularly encouraged by Ezra Pound. In her autobiographical novel Bid me to live soberly it addresses the disintegration of their marriage.



  • Avon River, 1955
  • Bid Me to Live, 1960
  • Collected Poems of H. D.. 1925
  • The Flowering of the Rod, 1946
  • Heliodora and Other Poems, 1924
  • Hippolytus temporizes, 1927
  • Hymen, 1921
  • Palimpsest, 1926
  • Red roses for bronze, 1932
  • Sea Garden, 1916
  • Tribute to the Angels, 1945
  • The Walls Do Not case, 1944
  • End to Torment: A Memoir of Ezra Pound, posthumously in 1979
  • Majic Ring, posthumously in 2009
  • Avon ( Avon River). Translated by John Urzidil ​​. ( = Thousand prints; 1). Suhrkamp, Berlin and Frankfurt am Main 1955
  • Thinking and Seeing. And: Fragments of Sappho. ( = Rough Books; 016). Urs Engeler Editor, Solothurn 2011
  • Hermetic Definition / Secret interpretation. Poems. Translated by Ulrike Draesner. Urs Engeler Editor, Basel 2006, ISBN 978-3-938767-11-5
  • Hermione. Novel. Translated by Anja Lazarowicz. Hanser, Munich and Vienna, 1987, ISBN 3-446-14474-9; Paperback editions in Wagenbach, Berlin 1988, ISBN 3-8031-2312-7 and Goldmann, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-442-09295-7
  • Madrigal ( Bid me to live). Translated by Anja Lazarowicz. Urs Engeler Editor, Basel 2008, ISBN 978-3-938767-46-7
  • Sea Garden ( Sea Garden ). Poems. Translated by Annette Kuhn. Bilingual. luxbooks, Wiesbaden 2011, ISBN 978-3-939557-27-2
  • Tribute to Freud ( Tribute to Freud). Prose. Translated by Michael Schröter. Urs Engeler Editor, Basel 2008, ISBN 978-3-938767-48-1