HD\'s sequence of 43 poems, The Walls Do Not Fall, first appeared in 1944, dedicated by the 56-year-old poet to her lover and friend, Bryher (Winifred Ellerman). Poems 9 and 10 are this week\'s choice, two connected but contrasting lyrics that make an elegant pair, and together represent something of the technique and ambition of the whole work. HD produced two further books, Tribute to the Angels and The Flowering of the Rod, and published all three as Trilogy – which can be read as a single epically-proportioned poem. An additional dedication, \"For Karnak, 1923, from London, 1942\", commemorated the visit Bryher, HD and HD\'s mother had made 20 years earlier to the great temple complex forming part of the remains of the city of Thebes. By a lucky chance, their visit had coincided with the excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun. The sight of the many London buildings left roofless and shattered by the Blitz reminded HD of her visit. In poem 1 she writes \"There, as here, ruin opens/ the tomb, the temple; enter/ there as here, there are no doors … \" She had found a corridor to her inspiration, a muse sometimes identified with the solar deity himself, Amen-Ra. HD famously received her honorary title, \"HD Imagiste\", from Ezra Pound in 1912. Her later poems raise the question of to what extent she remained an Imagist. Despite the scale of Trilogy, it\'s clearly not a complete rebuttal of her earlier technique. The segments, usually short, and all in unrhymed couplets, retain the spare clarity of her youthful poems, and, like them, often present beautiful, precise images. But individual words, also, may stand for the \"intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time\" – which was the image as defined by Flint and Pound. So in poem 9. It begins by naming the gods, Thoth and Hermes, and then lists the objects associated with their skills. Thoth was the Egyptian gods\' scribe, and protected learning and the arts. HD is probably incorporating Hermes Trismegistus into the messenger-god, Hermes. Hermes Trismegistus was the name the Greeks gave Thoth, and its abbreviation here would suit HD\'s syncretist approach to mythology. The noun-filled solidity of stanza 1 contrasts with instability in 2, with its suggestive line-break \"floor/of\" and the soft blur of its consonants. In a firmer voice, the poem goes on to contrast and connect \"the most perverse gesture\" of book-burning with someone\'s sour joke about a practical use, legitimised by the war-effort, for \"folio, manuscript, old parchment.\" These precious pages \"will do for cartridge cases\" but the word \"cartridge\" irresistibly leads to \"cartouche\" and the poet\'s confidence is restored in the last couplet. Again, the bare name is stated: Hatsepshut, the Egyptian queen who built a vast mortuary temple near Thebes. Her cartouche contains an inscription identifying her as the double of Amen-Ra. The power of the word vindicates the scribe. Norman Holmes Pearson\'s Foreword to Carcanet\'s edition of Trilogy quotes HD\'s annoyance at a letter someone sent her from the USA, mocking another poet\'s writing about world issues as \"pathetic\". Poem 8 contains her full, grandly indignant answer (\"the scribe takes precedence of the priest,/ stands second only to the Pharaoh\") but she picks up the theme more coolly in Poem 10, asserting the power of inscription to go \"beyond death\". The marks signifying language or music continue \"indelibly stamped on the atmosphere somewhere// forever…\" Uncertainty (\"somewhere\") slips into affirmation (\"forever\"). HD knew the power of ancient languages: she had studied classical Greek, and she must have been enthralled by the hieroglyphics at Karnak. Perhaps it\'s also worth remembering that she was writing in a golden age of radio. Poem 10 is a single sentence, reflecting, in its movement over line-break and stanza-break, the flow of language through space and time. The underlying thought, \"the pen is mightier than the sword\", is hardly new, but HD fires the imagination with her faith in ancient Egypt and its texts and symbols as living reality. The hieratic tone of 9 and 10 is characteristic of the whole work, and the quotation from the Gospel of St John at the end points the movement of HD\'s thought towards the Christian theology predominant in the final section of Trilogy. Fusing Egyptian, Greco-Roman and Judeao-Christian myth, HD creates a metaphysical and sometimes wittily linguistic synthesis: \"here am I, Amen-Ra,/ Amen, Aries, the Ram…\" (Poem 21). But she does not write as an anthropologist or etymologist: she affirms herself as believer, participant, scribe, goddess. In this way, she leaves behind the emotional detachment of the Imagist, while retaining the ability to highlight words and ideas within her own uniquely declamatory manner. From The Walls Do Not Fall  Thoth, Hermes, the stylus, the palette, the pen, the quill endure, though our books are a floor of smouldering ash under our feet; though the burning of the books remains the most perverse gesture and the meanest of man\'s mean nature, yet give us, they still cry, give us books, folio, manuscript, old parchment will do for cartridge cases; irony is bitter truth wrapped up in a little joke, and Hatshepsut\'s name is still circled with what they call the cartouche.  But we fight for life, we fight, they say, for breath, or what good are your scribblings? this – we take them with us beyond death; Mercury, Hermes, Thoth invented the script, letters, palette; the indicated flue or lyre-notes on papyrus or parchment are magic, indelibly stamped on the atmosphere somewhere, forever; remember, O Sword, you are the younger brother, the latter-born, your Triumph, however exultant, must one day be over, in the beginning was the Word.