Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hilda Morley: A Painter's Poet

HILDA MORLEY (9/19/19 - 3/23/98) was born Hilda Auerbach to Russian Jewish parents in New York City. She wrote poetry from an early age, corresponded with Yeats and met with H.D. in London when she was in her 20s. In 1945 she married the painter Eugene Morley in Manhattan and became immersed in abstract expressionism, which had a lasting effect on her poetry. In 1952 she married the German composer Stefan Wolpe and the two taught at Black Mountain College for four years. Besides Wolpe, Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, and the poet Wong May influenced Morley to embrace open construction and to use spacing for dramatic effect. About her work she wrote: "The poem of organic form molds its phrasing and spacing to conform to the pressures of the poetic content." Many of Morley's poems are directly inspired by works of art.

For more on Morley, link to Brian Conniff on Morley, The Poetry Foundation on Morleyand Erika Duncan on Morley. 
Constance Olson and Hilda Morley
 at Black Mountain College, circa 1952


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