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A forceful and moving final volume from one of the most masterful poets of the twentieth century. Throughout her nearly sixty-year career, acclaimed poet Eavan Boland came to be known for her exquisite ability to weave myth, history, and the life of an ordinary woman into mesmerizing poetry. She was an essential voice in both feminist and Irish literature, praised for her 'edgy precision, an uncanny sympathy and warmth, an unsettling sense of history' ( J.D. McClatchy). Her final volume, The Historians, is the culmination of her signature themes, exploring the ways in which the hidden, sometimes all-but-erased stories of women's lives can powerfully revise our sense of the past. Two women burning letters in a back garden. A poet who died too young. A mother's parable to her daughter. Boland listens to women who have long had no agency in the way their stories were told; in the title poem, she writes: 'Say the word history: I see / your mother, mine. / ... Their hands are full of words.' Addressing Irish suffragettes in the final poem, Boland promises: 'We will not leave you behind', a promise that animates each poem in this radiant collection. These extraordinary, intimate narratives cling to the future through memory, anger, and love in ways that rebuke the official record we call history.
The poems in Eavan Boland's new collection seek out the delicate intersections between generation, identity, and the deep losses inflicted by history on those who can bear them least. Exploring questions of inheritance (from mother to daughter, from generation to generation), the poems look closely at the ways in which we construct one another, and the ways in which - even without country, or settled identity - a legacy of connection and consolation can endure.
Published to celebrate the seventieth birthday of acclaimed Irish poet Eavan Boland, this book brings together many of Boland's best known poems with her own striking photographs of her native city, Dublin. Through juxtaposition of text and image, place and memory, the book creates a unique portrait of the city: 'fragments', Boland says, 'can point at something accurately'. A Poet's Dublin also includes an introduction by Jody Allen Randolph and a conversation between Eavan Boland and Paula Meehan in which the two poets reflect on their shared city and the central role it has played in their lives and in their work.
New Selected Poems includes the key poems of Eavan Boland's career to date, from New Territory (1967) to Domestic Violence (2007), concluding with a selection of new poems. Developing her work through more than a dozen collections, Boland continues to find new dimensions in language, in history and in the body subject to passion and to time. Her critical writing, her poetry and her example have made an emancipating difference to writing in Ireland. As she remarked in an interview in 2000, 'women are now writing the Irish poem across a very big register of new tones, new subjects, new approaches...I think I was one of the poets who became convinced of the need for change.'
A Journey with Two Maps begins with an anecdote: one afternoon, Eavan Boland saw one of her mother's paintings for sale in a gallery, signed by her famous teacher. It is the starting point for an exploration of concepts of art and womanhood, of what it means to be a woman poet, finding her own voice within a tradition. Boland's discussion is both critical and deeply personal, an account of her development as a poet that traces her experiences as a woman, wife and mother in the light of influences such as Adrienne Rich, Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks and Sylvia Plath. Boland considers the ways in which influences themselves may be changed as a tradition is remade. In the final part of the book, 'Letter to a Young Woman Poet', she addresses an unseen poet of the future who will redraw the maps once more, remaking the past and the present.
In the first decade of the new millennium, Jody Allen Randolph interviewed twenty-two leading Irish poets, artists, fiction writers and playwrights to create a record of how the makers of a culture saw their country as it moved into a new era. Her exploration was shadowed by intimations of unease; as economic collapse gathered pace, recurrent concerns gained a new urgency. What are Irish values? How have they changed? How do new cultural realities affect the old arts of language and image which have been so important in Irish tradition? In journeys across political divides and between languages, from Seamus Heaney and Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, deeply rooted in Irish inheritance, to the African-Irish writer Joyce Akpotor; from Gerry Adams for whom 'when our future is settled, we will agree on our history', to the artist Dorothy Cross who brings an international perspective to her redefinitions of traditional Irish imagery, Close to the Next Moment captures the conversations that are remaking a culture.
The Eavan Boland Sourcebook is an essential companion to the poetry, prose and critical writing of this acclaimed poet. Jody Allen Randolph has been a teacher and interpreter of Boland's work for many years and gathers here a rich collection of literary and critical texts, illuminating the poet's achievements for students and general readers alike. The Sourcebook includes: a biographical introduction and chronology; introductory surveys of each aspect of Boland's work; a representative selection of Boland's poetry and prose writings; interviews from 1987 to 2006; reviews and critical discussions of each of Boland's books; photographs; and a comprehensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources.
Eavan Boland's new collection turns to the domestic interiors in which the dramas of women's lives are played out: seductions and quarrels, anger and grief, the care of children. In her attentiveness to the humdrum realities of suburban life, Boland makes them luminous with the power of live myths. Looking back over her own life, back through the lives of the women who preceded her, Boland arrives at the deep structures of memory where, as she writes, legends are made new 'not by saying them, but by unsettling / one layer of meaning from another'. This is a collection from a poet at the height of her powers, writing with authority and grace.
They are nine women with much in common--all German speaking, all poets, all personal witnesses to the horror and devastation that was World War II. Yet, in this deeply moving collection, each provides a singularly personal glimpse into the effects of war on language, place, poetry, and womanhood. After Every War is a book of translations of women poets living in Europe in the decades before and after World War II: Rose Auslander, Elisabeth Langgasser, Nelly Sachs, Gertrud Kolmar, Else Lasker-Schuler, Ingeborg Bachmann, Marie Luise Kaschnitz, Dagmar Nick, and Hilde Domin. Several of the writers are Jewish and, therefore, also witnesses and participants in one of the darkest occasions of human cruelty, the Holocaust. Their poems, as well as those of the other writers, provide a unique biography of the time--but with a difference. These poets see public events through the lens of deep private losses. They chart the small occasions, the bittersweet family ties, the fruit dish on a table, the lost soul arriving at a railway station; in other words, the sheer ordinariness through which cataclysm is experienced, and by which life is cruelly shattered. They reclaim these moments and draw the reader into them. The poems are translated and introduced, with biographical notes on the authors, by renowned Irish poet Eavan Boland. Her interest in the topic is not abstract. As an Irish woman, she has observed the heartbreaking effects of violence on her own country. Her experience has drawn her closer to these nine poets, enabling her to render into English the beautiful, ruminative quality of their work and to present their poems for what they are: documentaries of resilience--of language, of music, and of the human spirit--in the hardest of times.
'I have put this book together, not as a prose narrative is usually constructed, but as a poem might be. In turnings and returnings. In parts which find and repeat themselves and re-state the argument until it loses its reasonable edge and hopefully becomes a sort of cadence.' In Object Lessons Eavan Boland meditates on womanhood in the specific places and times of her life. She engages, in a scrupulous and evocative prose, the issues of nationhood as well, clearing a space within Ireland where to be a woman and a poet has seemed in the past a contradiction in terms. The book functions in her work as Wordsworth's Prelude does in his, though Boland does not allow herself the luxury of rapture: to say no more or less than she means, she focuses on particulars, on 'obstinate details' that contain and represent larger meaning, connection and force. The autobiography here is not of a confessional kind: the facts which connect with other voices, other lives, matter. What the London Review of Books called Boland's 'radical but undoctrinaire feminism' informs all the related meditations in Object Lessons , an enabling document of our time.Unease with Modernism, a concern with the erotic in time, and at every point a sense of continuities, mark the book as a portrait of a critical imagination of deep integrity finding a way among history's obstacles, finding itself in and through the lessons of the objects - particularly artifacts and poems - that it encounters.
Ten years ago Carcanet published Eavan Boland's first Collected Poems, a book which confirmed her place at the forefront of modern Irish poetry. The New Collected Poems brings the record of her achievement up to date, adding The Lost Land (1998) and Code (2001). It also fills out the early record, reproducing two key poems from 23 Poems (1962), New Territory (1967), The War Horse (1975) and her later books; it includes passages from her unpublished 1971 play Femininity and Freedom. Following the chronology of publication, the reader experiences the exhilarating sense of development, now incremental, now momentous. Her writing and example are vitally enabling for young writers and readers; she traces a measured process of emancipation from conventions and stereotypes, writing now in a space she has cleared not by violent rejection, but by dialogue, critical engagement and patient experimentation with form, theme and language
In this radical anthology, the work of three of Ireland's most important and best-loved contemporary poets is featured. Each has, in a different way, cleared new creative space from which to speak and to sing. The anthology comprises an essential selection of some 40 pages from the work of the poet