"The Powers of Defense and Offense: How H.D. and Malika Booker Respond to Violence Through Poetry"

The poets Hilda Doolittle (H.D.) and Malika Booker navigated their careers in violent and unstable settings and used poetry to explore how women can protect themselves from the dangers around them. This paper explores how, although their trauma was different-H.D. experienced the destruction of both world wars and Booker witnessed the prevalence of sexual abuse in the Caribbean-both poets write about the all-encompassing, ever-present forms that violence can take. In Trilogy, an epic poem series about World War II, H.D. writes that in order to survive violent times, women must be defensive and build protective walls. Oppositely, Booker depicts how the power of an offensive stance can be used to survive gender-based violence in her poem titled "Warning." Ultimately, because H.D. and Booker had different experiences with violence and trauma, their poetry reflects different strategies for survival, but they both agree that developing and employing a strategy is imperative.

- Emma Malink '25