I should have thought in a dream you would have brought some lovely, perilous thing, orchids piled in a great sheath, as who would say (in a dream), "I send you this, who left the blue veins of your throat unkissed." Why was it that your hands (that never took mine), your hands that I could see drift over the orchid-heads so carefully, your hands, so fragile, sure to lift so gently, the fragile flower-stuff-- ah, ah, how was it You never sent (in a dream) the very form, the very scent, not heavy, not sensuous, but perilous--perilous-- of orchids, piled in a great sheath, and folded underneath on a bright scroll, some word: "Flower sent to flower; for white hands, the lesser white, less lovely of flower-leaf," or "Lover to lover, no kiss, no touch, but forever and ever this."
Copyright © 1982 by the Estate of Hilda Doolittle. Used with permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved. No part of this poem may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher.
Born in 1886, Hilda Doolittle was one of the leaders of the Imagist movement. She published numerous poetry collections, including Sea Garden (Constable and Company, 1916) and Helen in Egypt (Grove Press, 1961). She died in 1961.
Date Published: 1982-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/baia