Burial in Bethlehem

Born and buried here, H.D.’s story begins and ends in Bethlehem. Not long after her final visit to the United States in 1960 to claim an Award of Merit Medal for poetry from the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters, H.D. died in Zürich, Switzerland on September 27, 1961. Her ashes were returned to the birthplace that had preoccupied so much of her imaginative life and buried in the Doolittle family plot in Nisky Hill cemetery, only a few blocks up the street from the house where she was born. It has become customary for visitors to H.D.’s grave to leave a seashell as a token of remembrance. The seashell is a reference to H.D.’s first collection of Imagist poetry, Sea Garden. The inscription on her tombstone is taken from her poem entitled, quite fittingly, “Epitaph,” which was originally published in Red Roses for Bronze.