Summary and Analysis
Presents Helen of the Greek legend from the unfavourable point of view of the Greeks who suffer under the Trojan War she caused.
The poem announces that all Greece hates and curses Helen. They hate her even deeper when her face grows pale and white, because they remember past enchantments and ills. Greece is not moved by the beauty of the god's daughter, they would only love her if her ashes were buried amid funereal cypresses.
The image of her ashes is preceded by an interesting image of her beautiful but cool feet and slender knees. The death seems to be a logical outcome of the image and at the same time the conclusion of the whole poem. Also throughout the poem Helen is depicted as beautiful but of still eyes and white face and hands, as if she were dead already.˙
AuthorDoolittle, Hilda. (1886 - 1961).
H.D. "Helen". (1924). In: The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym et al. NY: Norton, 1989