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Written during the painful disintegration of her marriage to Richard Aldington, "Eurydice" can be read on the most obvious biographical level as H.D.’s personal cry of rage and despair against an unfaithful husband, also a poet and once a mentor, who has drawn her toward unhappiness only to turn and reject her. . . . Her Eurydice executes an Orphic turn of her own–or, if you will, a "Eurydicean" turn away from patriarchal convention–when she rejects the familiar myth of Orpheus as the faithful lover whose glance back at his wife signals at once his aspiration and his human imperfection. Orpheus’ backward glance, this Eurydice suggests, is more a gesture of greed–

So for your arrogance and your ruthlessness I have lost the earth and the flowers of the earth

–than one of love or even pure passionate need.

At the same time, H.D. also rejects the image of Eurydice as the passive object of her heroic husband’s quest, allowed, while Orpheus charms the underworld with his music, no creative voice of her own. . . . H.D.’s heroine, rather than accepting her fate in silence or lamenting vaguely to the gods, cries out defiantly against all male oppression, offering a manifesto for a feminist poetics appropriating hell, the negative space of literary marginality into which the female poet has been driven, as a source of power. . . . Eurydice’s determination to reign in hell if she cannot write poetry in heaven is not, perhaps, the most satisfying solution possible to the creative dilemma in which Orpheus has placed her. But it is a courageous one, and the apocalyptic imagery of the final stanza–in which hell, in a demonic revision of Robert Burns, threatens to open "like a red rose"–suggests that Eurydice’s "flowers of myself" are powerful blooms, indeed.