Introduction to Eavan Boland

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Boland is introduced to us as one of the most important poets in modern Irish literature. She is commended for her interest in feminist issues throughout her work, in particular the role of women society. In her poetry she expresses a more accurate view on the contributions and achievements of women in Irish history.Boland's early poems were about domestic issues such as marriage and children. Boland also showed an interest in the role of women in Irish literature and society.

In "Child of our time" Boland introduces us to the theme of motherhood and dealing with the evil of war. The features of the this poem are important to interpreting what Boland is saying,  she uses end-rhyme. The tone of Bolands poetry must also be considered, the overall the tone is shocked, but that it is up to us to do something about it. There is a sense of deep hurt conveyed in the last line of the second stanza, ‘you dead’. The first stanza has a sad, regretful tone while there is anger in the use of the word‘murder’. The images of caring for a child in the second stanza are conveyed in a tone of tenderness. The background to the poem is that it was written in response to the death of a child killed in a Dublin bombing in May ’74. Boland may also have been prompted by a newspaper photograph showing a fireman tenderly lifting a dead child from the debris  "Sleep in a world your final sleep has woken."

This is the final line of the poem and it is one of hope and prayer. The initial image here is of the child waking up in a world where it will sleep peacefully and undisturbed, possibly heaven? As a poet she touches issues of concern and hopes that she can make a difference she cleverly points out that it is the adult’s job to teach the child, but in fact it is the child that has taught the adults a lesson. 

We see a how Boland continues with the theme of war and violence "The war horse", this poem was written in the early 70's during the violence in northern Ireland. The...
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