Hippolytus Temporizes & Ion: Adaptations from Euripides

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9780811215534: Hippolytus Temporizes & Ion: Adaptations from Euripides
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Brilliant reworkings of Euripides' classic dramas by the great modernist poet H.D., now available in one volume. H.D.'s 1927 adaptation of Euripides's Hippolytus Temporizes and her 1937 translation of Ion appeared midpoint in her career. These two verse dramas can both be considered as "freely adapted" from plays by Euripides; they constitute a commentary in action, and in this regard resemble the Oedipus plays of W. B. Yeats and Ezra Pound's Women of Trachis. In the first play, the young man Hippolytus is obsessed with the virgin goddess Artemis and discovers the depth of his passion with the sensual Phaedra, his disguised stepmother: this experience brings self-knowledge and death. The heroine Kreousa in Ion attempts to poison Ion when she fails to recognize him as her son by Apollo and sees instead an outsider and possible usurper of her throne. H.D.'s translations of the Greek were greatly admired by T. S. Eliot. In her reworkings, she creates modern versions of classic plays, enabling her to explore her favorite poetic themes. Sigmund Freud (with whom H.D. was undergoing analysis just before she embarked on Ion) commended her translations; and after writing them, H.D. was able to go on to write Helen in Egypt, "a sweeping epic of healing and integration." These marvelous versions attest to H.D.'s claim that "the lines of this Greek poet (and all Greek poets if we have but the clue) are today as vivid and as fresh as they ever were."

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About the Author:

H.D. (1886-1961) (the pen name of Hilda Doolittle) was born in the Moravian community of Bethlehem, PA in 1886. A major twentieth century poet with an ear more subtle than Pound s, Moore s, or Yeats s as Marie Ponsot writes, she was the author of several volumes of poetry, fiction, essays, and memoirs. She is perhaps one of the best-known and prolific women poets of the Modernist era. Bryher Ellerman was a novelist and H.D. s wealthy companion. She financed H.D. s therapy with Freud.

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..".H.D. +succeeded in establishing her own voice in the choruses of Euripides, which turned them into excellent Imagist poetry."

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