Search our site
Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron Read the opening extract of the brand new Sophie Cameron book before its publication on 22/03/2018

After Every War Twentieth-Century Women Poets by Eavan Boland

After Every War Twentieth-Century Women Poets

Part of the Facing Pages Series


After Every War Twentieth-Century Women Poets by Eavan Boland

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.


[A] moving and essential new book. These poets have a particular angle of witness that comes from powerlessness, from being vulnerable, injured, marginal, excluded. I'm struck by the personal way these poets confront history, test and interrogate language, especially their mother tongue, question the efficacy of poetry, and repeatedly defend the importance of private feeling. --Edward Hirsch, Washington Post Book World I like this provocative book quite a lot: it is full of beautiful poems written under the worst historical conditions possible. It makes you think about the connection between lyric beauty (there's lots of it here) and testimony. --Dan Chiasson, Poetry

About the Author

Eavan Boland is a poet and writer. Her most recent book is Against Love Poetry .

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

25th September 2006


Eavan Boland

More books by Eavan Boland
Author 'Like for Like'


Princeton University Press


184 pages


Literary studies: poetry & poets
Literary studies: from c 1900 -



Love books. Love reading. Love reading books. And, here's the trick. Here's a website which caters for people like me.

Ian Harvey-brown

I 'Lovereading' because it lets me see what new books are around with a detailed synopsis and readers' reviews.

Judith Sharp

Lovereading does a stella job in promoting both new and established authors.

Iris Clements

Thanks to Lovereading I have discovered new writers and read books I would never had looked twice at - and enjoyed them.

Angela Rhodes

Discover new authors and enjoy old favourites; oodles of literary gems to uncover at Lovereading with candid reviews from real reviewers.

Emily Wright

At Lovereading there are fabulous books available in every genre, with great reviews to help you pick the right book for you.

Teresa O'Halloran

My favourite thing about is the 'like for like' page this has really introduced me to some good reads! That and lots of honest reviews.

Sam Lewis

It has enriched my leisure time by introducing me to a world of books which I would not have previously considered.

Val Rowe