Summer Thunderstorm of the Month

I miss summer. Been reading & greatly enjoying H.D.'s semi-auto-bio novel HERmione. It's no more semi-auto-bio than many novels are, but probably because H.D. was a woman and consorted with famous men, the book's dustjacket & introduction promise characters who are Nin-like transpositions from the author's personal life.

I prefer H.D.'s wonderful (and underappreciated?) novel without tabloid context. When our narrator canoodles in the moss with a suitor, I'd rather imagine him entirely based on H.D.'s language. Since I've been instructed by the dustjacket that this suitor is "really" Ezra Pound, however, the suitor must sweat inside a great Ezra Pound bobblehead, like a space helmet with Pound's visage painted on it.

HERmione is a book of many virtues. H.D.'s prose has a slow-building hypnagogic quality: a hothouse, heavy-lidded lushness that can be cozy or claustrophobic. Although she controls the reader's attention with paranoid rigor-- we mayn't look at very much, for very long, and only just where she directs us-- the velvet glove's so plush that her grip feels like a caress.

In the excerpt below, we're treated to a morning rainstorm as viewed from indoors. It's Cadillac writing, though I'll admit some bias; as a lazy gardener, I do dearly love rainstorms.

Thunder reverberated across wet lawns, shook the middle forest, prolonged itself like some beast growling under deep-sea water, shook the water above their heads, broke through it and let down more water through a funnel. Water poured through a funnel on the roof above them, slid off gutters, made a sheet across the window, darkened the dining room and blotted out the dining room silver. Silver forks, spoons, a bowl on the side table became lost in silver, mist in and out, a sheet of silver hung permanently across the dining room window. Window tight-fastened, odd shut-in feeling on a summer morning. Outside the odd tight-fastened window, a sheet of thin metal hung wavering ominously. "I feel we're shut up inside a submarine or a bomb that will burst suddenly."
 
Brrrr-ooooo-ommm-- the bomb burst suddenly. "This is ghastly. I thought the storm was over." The silver went platinum-white in the succeeding sudden flashes. "The whole world's blown up suddenly." The silver went lead, less than silver in the reassuring heavy downpour that almost drowned the distant BRRRooming drum, reassuring drum of raindrops beating; we're coming to help, we're coming to help, we're on the way to rescue you from lead and shot and silver turned to gunfire...

 

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