Thursday, January 06, 2011

from HERmione by H.D.

There are of course bits of colour to be thrown down like counters in a banking house, or chips across a poker table. All your life you will retain one or two bits of colour with which all your life will be violently or delicately tinted. You will have an infinitesimal grain of purple dye or a flat counter to hoard or to risk in one reckless spendthrift moment. there are gamblers of the spirit as there are gamblers of the mind, passions of the psyche as well as passions of the body. All of life may be spent looking in vain for a counter that might bring glory or fame or wisdom which at some off-moment you may pick up unexpectedly—from the gutter—then you save it or you spend it. (53)

One conversation of all the conversations may retain significance; by one leaf you may judge the contour of a great tree, whether it be oak, or beech or chestnut. One conversation can give clue to the whole insistencies of a forest; analyse it and you will find whether the tract of oak wood may or may not, at some specific later date, be lighted. Analyse pulp substance of green gelatinous woodleaf and you will find worlds revolving and a continent of armies, massed to slide along ridges of leaf-vein or to swarm in battalions into another exact triangle of wood fibre. Here a patch of brown may show the invidious canker or here some sodden bubble under the living texture may foretell a waterlogged anaemia. One conversation in a sodden jungle (her yet unformulated consciousness and her consciousness of America) gave her a clue to a new race and a new revaluation of the forest. The jungle must be weeded out surely…but the soil was ripe for a new sort of forestation. (57)

Choriambics of a forgotten Melic. Chroiambics of a forgotten Melic beat rhythm and rhythm through the alert avid out-watching mind of Her Gart. “Choriambics,” she repeated valiantly swaying with the jerk and sway of the trolley (149).

Now more than ever she knew they were out of some bad novel. Sound of chiffon ripping and the twist and turn of Hermione under the stalwart thin young torso of George Lowndes. Now more than ever thought made spiral, m ade concentric circle toward a darkened ceiling. the ceiling came down, down. The ceiling became black, in a moment it would crush down, crushing her and George Lowndes under a black metallic shutter. The ceiling was a sort of movable shutter like some horrible torture thing out of Poe’s tales, the wall that came close out of Poe’s tales was coming close, the wall was coming close. Doors were no more in walls, the curtains were no more curtains. Walls were coming close to suffocate, to crush her… “You’ve torn this chiffon sleeve thing horribly.” (173)

“…I want to sit here sensing this moment that is dawn and morning. A moment and an infinitesimal fraction of a moment and dawn slides into morning like starlight into water. There is a quivering, a slightest infinitesimal shivering. The thing that was is not.” (212)

Then in a moment, in an infinitesimal second, the moment that divides day from dawn, that other moment that divides dawn from morning, perhaps that moment that divides early morning from exact morning, will intercede. A moment will stand in a starched apron and the moment will save Her’s being. I will draw back tenuous antennae of delirium… Her will be quite sane. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps on its petty pace from day to day and all our yesterdays and all our yesterdays… (216)

Heartless means without a heart. Less a heart. Hermione. Less-a-heart. What is Hermione Less-a-heart? Hermione heartless is this thing. Tossed like a winter branch on a snow bed. I am Hermione stripped of blossoms. Flowers drifted here, there, incandescent flower. Snowdrop under a cedar. You are a parasite, drifted here and there to perch a moment parasitically on George Lowndes. Branch flowers dipped parasitic feelers down and down into the live bark of somewhat common tree branch. George could love no parasite, could love no flower as I am. (219)