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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

THE POOL, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"The Pool" is a poem written by Hilda Doolittle, also known as H.D. It was first published in 1916 as part of her collection of poems entitled "Sea Garden".


"The Pool" is a short, imagistic poem that describes a tranquil pool in a garden. The speaker of the poem observes the pool and reflects on its stillness and beauty, using vivid sensory imagery to convey its atmosphere. The poem suggests a sense of mystery and wonder as the speaker muses on the pool's depths and the secrets it might hold.

Poetic Elements:

  • Form: Free verse, with irregular line lengths and no consistent rhyme scheme.
  • Theme: Nature, tranquility, mystery, wonder.
  • Imagery: Vivid sensory details that convey the atmosphere of the pool, including descriptions of light, color, and movement.
  • Tone: Reverential, contemplative, with a sense of awe and mystery.
  • Sound: The poem makes use of internal rhyme, as well as alliteration and assonance, to create a musical quality.
  • Language: Simple and direct, with a focus on concrete sensory details.
  • Figurative language: The pool is personified as "still", "sleeping", and "drowsy", suggesting a sense of tranquility and calm.
  • Structure: The irregular line lengths and lack of consistent rhyme scheme contribute to a sense of fluidity and movement, echoing the theme of water and the pool's surface.
  • Symbolism: The pool could be seen as a symbol for the depths of the human psyche or the mysteries of the universe, inviting contemplation and reflection.
  • Emotion: The poem evokes a sense of peace and wonder, with a suggestion of deeper mysteries waiting to be explored.


"The Pool" is a simple yet evocative poem that celebrates the beauty and mystery of nature. Through its vivid sensory imagery and musical language, the poem invites the reader to reflect on the deeper meanings and mysteries that may lie beneath the surface of the natural world. The use of personification and symbolism adds layers of meaning to the poem, while the irregular structure and fluid language contribute to a sense of flow and movement. Overall, "The Pool" is a testament to Hilda Doolittle's skill in capturing the essence of a moment and inviting the reader to share in its beauty and wonder.

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