While the Edgar Allen Poe approaches Helen’s beauty in a much more affectionate manner in the poem “To Helen,” H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) expresses Helen’s beauty through envy and hatred in her poem, “Helen”. In “To Helen” the diction is very specific to evoke a romantic and affectionate style of writing, while in “Helen”, H.D. chooses her words in a very negative way to show a style of writing that expresses envy. Poe writes, “To the glory that was Greece/And the grandeur that was Rome” to compare Helen to what may be considered the two greatest civilizations of all time. He uses words like “glory” and “grandeur” to show the elegance and awe of Helen’s beauty. This shows that Poe uses a romantic style of writing in this poem. In contrast, Doolittle writes:
All Greece reviles
The wan face when she smiles
Hating it deeper still (Doolittle 6-8)
Doolittle uses words and phrases like “reviles” and “hating it deeper” that hold a very strong connotation to show a very negative feeling towards Helen’s beauty. The style of writing in this poem is very resentful of Helen’s beauty. Working off of diction, Poe expresses a positive tone of adoration, whereas Doolittle takes a different approach by recognizing Helen’s beauty and tries to belittle it through insults. Edgar Allen Poe utilizes tone in a very positive way using words that express his adoring thoughts of her. Poe says her beauty is “Like those Nicean barks of yore,/That gently, o’er a perfumed sea” (Poe 2-3). Poe uses a simile to show that Helen’s beauty is as beautiful of the Nicean barks, which were considered very elegant and beautiful. On the other hand, in “Helen”, H.D. uses a sort of bitter, envious tone that still expresses Helen’s beauty. Doolittle writes: All Greece hates
the still eyes in the white face,
the luster as of olives (Doolittle 1-3)
These lines express an envious tone, showing that the speaker acknowledges Helen’s beauty, but tries to insult it...