Eavan Boland and the History of the Ordinary: A Critical Study


Zelman, Thomas W. and Patricia L. Hagen


PhDs: Professors D/English, College of St Scholastica

Why a book on Eavan Boland? No critical study of one of Ireland’s most significant and ambitious living poets has been undertaken until now. Her collected writings seek nothing less than a redefinition of the myths structuring the current understanding of Ireland. Much as Shakespeare helped shape the Tudor myth and our historical consciousness of his time, much as Yeats drew from Ireland’s Celtic tradition to reinvest his age with an historical continuum, Boland seeks to reframe Ireland. The survival of ordinary people in the face of Penal Laws, the Famine and the Irish Civil War and especially women’s survival have fashioned Boland’s poetic vision. Since so many survived without written record her poems tend to center on the nameless women whose presence must be intuited. In her best work, work that has influenced poets on both sides of the Atlantic, Boland proclaims these women to be Ireland as she pieces together a nation from a jigsaw like set of museum artifacts, handed down personal possessions, and silent images.

“This study should prove to be a powerful tool in assessing Boland’s work midway among the waves and her critical position within the world of Irish letters."
James Fitzgerald, Ars Poetica,Vol 11.No.1,2005

Irish studies, Poetry-Ireland 20th C, Irish women poets; Irish literature; Poets, Ireland
Release Date: 
Cloth: 1-930901-57-7
Trim Size: 
6 x 9

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