Synopses & Reviews
In this important prose work, one of our major poets explores, through autobiography and argument, a woman's life in Ireland together with a poet's work. Eavan Boland beautifully uncovers the powerful drama of how these lives affect one another; how the tradition of womanhood and the historic vocation of the poet act as revealing illuminations of the other. Included are autobiographical pieces about a woman living in Ireland, about a grandmother, a childhood. In the second section, Boland details the part of the life in which the vocation of the poet meets the life of the woman.
"Thoughtfully, Boland recounts the long, uncertain process by which she came to construct (as any poet must) a persona: how she grew out of that well-schooled girl with an unsettled past and a well-received early book, into herself, a wife and mother residing in a Dublin suburb, beginning to write poems of another kind. . . . Eavan Boland has made an honest book and written of intricate matters courteously. She has proposed to her reader a composed, level-headed, yet spirited argument." Los Angeles Times
"In a prose style so lyrical, spare and elegiac it rivals poetry, she draws us into personal memory, autobiographical anecdote and family history. . . . It is not like any other book in memory: inspired, relentless, deliberately and eloquently hand-drawn." The Nation
"Eavan Boland's is the most perceptive account that I have read of what it means to be a woman writing poetry in the late twentieth century." Mark Strand
Eavan Boland beautifully uncovers the powerful drama of how these lives affect one another; how the tradition of womanhood and the historic vocation of the poet act as revealing illuminations of the other.
About the Author
Eavan Boland is the author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry and nonfiction. A professor and the director of the creative writing program at Stanford University, she is the winner of a Lannan Foundation Award. She lives in Stanford, California, and Dublin, Ireland.