H.D.’s Trilogy, a book of three long poems written in the 1940s, begins with a vivid portrayal of the stress of the bombing of London and the longing for respite.  Woven in with this world are Greek and Egyptian deities and an awareness of those who distrust poets (herself and her companions) because of their lack of “usefulness.”

In the second section what the rest of us think of as “real” takes second place to angels and a Lady who is both Astarte and Mary and who also appears with a book, as if she were patroness of poets.  She is goddess portrayed in many ways through the ages:

We see her hand in her lap,
smoothing the apple-green

or the apple-russet silk;
we see her hand at her throat,

fingering a talisman
brought by a crusader from Jerusalem;

In part III the focus shifts again, for here two Biblical stories dominate, the woman with the alabaster jar, and Kaspar, the Wise Man who brought myrrh to the Christ Child.  H.D. intertwines them so that the two figures are contemporary.  In this, H.D. shows the courage to follow where the poem leads her, though it could well be offensive to those detractors she mentions earlier.  She describes the encounter of the woman and Kaspar.

As he stooped for the scarf, he saw this,
and as he straightened, in that half-second,

he saw the fleck of light
like a flaw in the third jewel

to his right, in the second circlet,
a grain, a flaw, or a speck of light

and in that point or shadow,
was the whole secret of the mystery;

The final sections bring conclusion to the whole series, yet leave mystery intact: the mystery of deities and creativity, of courage and hope, of Good Friday and Easter.

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