I don’t know about you guys…

…but when I’m stressed out about papers, I tend to indulge in bizarre panic-displacement activities. These usually involve cleaning my room, but my new obsession with Polyvore meant that Wednesday night, I was making Trilogy-inspired outfits. This is my favorite:

Even though putting this together was mostly a way to feel like I was doing work without actually writing, I do think that I was really inspired by Trilogy, specifically “The Walls Do Not Fall,” while coming up with it. One of the things I really loved about “Trilogy” is the idea of the bombings being interruptions–that opening line “An incident here or there,” though casual, really conveys that this had become a variant from every day life. The idea that it was “here or there,” that maybe it would impact you less in some places and more in others, and that above all it was unpredictable, made me think of a party being interrupted. So I put together a party/Blitz-inspired outfit. The dress sort of speaks for itself. I chose the headband because of the flower pattern, which made me think of the flowers in “The Flowering of the Rod” and invokes the “weight of a domed crown” in the description of the Lady. I chose the cuff because it’s not silver, it’s “silver-tone,” which references the metal disappearing due to the war.

I chose the clutch because it reminded me of one of my favorite lines in Trilogy “yet the ancient rubrics reveal that we were at the beginning.” That line, and the references to the secrets of language in that part of the poem, made me think of things kept under lock and key, much like the clasp on the purse. Finally, I chose the shoes because they made me think of the line “Pompeii has nothing to teach us, we know crack of volcanic fissure, slow flow of terrible lava.”

So yeah, that’s what I do when I’m panicking over a paper. Anyone want to contribute some ED ones?

How I spend my time

I decided that it was a Good Life Decision to wander around the internet in search of H.D.-related media instead of writing an essay. And I’m very glad I did, because I found this amazing image of H.D.

I am in love with this. I am tempted to call the library holding it to see if it’s possible to get some sort of reproduction of it because I kind of want to frame it. Aside from my love of old film, it is so H.D. to me. The image is very quiet but very powerful at the same time. It made me think about how much an author’s image can influence what you think of their work and vice-versa.  I’d never read any Emily Dickinson before this class, but I had an idea of her work just based on that one photograph of her: sweet and very 19th century. Whereas when I think of H.D., I automatically have visions of Hermione (and now “The Sea Garden”) in my  head. What I find interesting about Dickinson and H.D. is that, even though they wrote during different eras, they were both active during a time when photography was becoming more common but they both used it in very different ways. Dickinson avoided it almost entirely whereas H.D. really embraced it. I can’t help but wonder if that was very imagiste of H.D.; looking at those photographs of her in Scanlon’s powerpoint, I could tell that she was using imagery to create a narrative in a very similar way that she did in her poetry.

By the way, the above image is a bit of filmstrip, circa 1927, that is held in the Beinecke Library at Yale. They have a lot of great stuff; there are some typed versions of H.D.’s poems complete with her edits, lots of pictures, and screenshots from Borderline (although a warning: when you first search for H.D. in the Beinecke database, you get some random early maps of the US). It’s a great resource that I think everyone should check out, if only for the awesome pictures.