Eavan Boland is my favourite modern poet. There are many reasons for my positive response to her poems. What I love about Boland’s work is how revolutionary it is. Jody Allen Randolph, the American critic, once said that Boland “single-handedly challenged what was a heavily male-dominated profession”. What really appeals to me about Boland’s work is how she offers me fresh insight on old topics. In particular I like her reflections on love and relationships, the polemical/political dimension to her work and also the unique voice she has in Irish poetry: lending fresh input on old Irish topics, such as the Famine. Although I thoroughly enjoy Boland’s diverse range of themes, it is also the way in which she presents these themes to the reader which appeals to me. I find her poetry has an evocative, warm and lyrical quality with an impressing economy of language. I love how she uses banalities as symbols for emotions and ideas that otherwise would be completely ineffable. I also find her poetry contains suspense and tension of the best narrative.
Boland’s reflection on relationships is one of my favourite aspects of her poetry. In the poem “Love”, Boland chronicles the deep elemental love between her and her husband, Kevin. This poem is incredibly personal: “I am your wife” “I see you as a hero in a text” “We love each other”. This poem really has an impact on me. When I read it, I really couldn’t get over its power. Boland really emphasises the deep, elemental and transcendent love between them: “It offered us ascension”. I find these lines incredibly powerful. In “Object Lessons” Boland says “when you write about love, you begin by writing about people and end up writing about time”. The poems beauty in my view is augmented by how Boland blends tenses in this poem. She uses the present “Dark falls”, the past: “love had”, past participles which can act also as adjectives “touched” and the future “Will we ever love so intensely again”. I believe this aspect of...
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