#Ireland Eavan Boland (poet)
- Author: Eavan Boland
- Title: A Poet’s Dublin (35 poems)
- Published: 2014
- List of Challenges 2019
- Monthly plan
The book is divided into 3 parts representing:
- the city Dublin (architecture, women, colony)
- the River Liffey (without the river there would be no city)
- the suburb Dundrum (treat the mundane life of a woman in
- the suburbs with children fairly)
- The book ends with a conversation
- that took place between Eavan Boland and Paula Meehan
- on her 70th birthday at the Abbey Theatre in 2014.
- Weak point:
- Part 3 – Suburban Dundrum
- Eavan Boland tries to capture the sense of
- living in the new Ireland….subrubia
- but the poems offered few opportunities to reflect.
- They did not generate emotional power
- …to help me connect to Boland’s words.
- Strong point:
- Part 1 and 2- The city of Dublin and The River Liffey
- There were difficult issues and experiences
- told with with a clear-eyed honesty, openess
- and much humanity.
- There were 3 poems about her mother
- (elegy, marriage and her death).
- Poems about Boland as a Trinity College
- student in Dublin.
- Part 2: The Gifts of the River
- …all these poems were very good
- emphasizing the feeling of being a colony under
- the English….and the palpable joy of the
- beauty of the Grand Canal in Dublin or the
- carefree summer swimming hole at
- Blackrock Baths!
- This is a lovely way to discover a city.
- Not just pages of facts and figures….but feelings
- through the author’s poems.
- This book marks Eavan Boland’s 70th birthday,
- The poet has paired her poems about her native city Dublin
- with her own photographs.
Once in Dublin
- Why did this poem put a smile on my face?
- The poem has emotion, idea, physical setting,
- language, image, rhythm…that brought back
- memories of my visit to Dublin years ago.
- In this poem we visit a Dublin of Boand’s past.
The Huguenot Graveyard at the Heart of the City
- I learned of the French Protestants
- who left Nantes France to settle in Dublin 1600s.
- This hidden cemetery is a place of shadow
- and remembrance.
- Nostalgic poem…that sparked my interest because
- some of the names on the cemetery plaque were familiar!
- Le Fanu:
- Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu
- was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels.
- He was the leading ghost-story writer of the nineteenth century
- Another name….Becquett
- This was a relative of Samuel Beckett.
- Now that explains why Beckett felt at home in France.
The Doll’s Museum in Dublin
- This poem can be read in multiple ways by
- different audiences.
- The poem highlights Easter Day in Ireland.
- While there seems to be a gleeful mood in the air
- …the poem ends on a note that implies there is an
- underlying sadness:
- Easter Uprising 1916.
- As you walk through a city like Dublin your eyes gaze on
- bonze orators and granite patriots.
- Arms wide. Lips apart
- Eavan Boland is in her late teens, a student
- having recently returned to Dublin.
- She senses the powerful threat of heroism in the city during
- the turbulent years of The Troubles.
- Also she feels the growing awareness of the
- troubled role of women in Irish history and culture.
- There is no statue as she describes in the poem in Dublin
- (man with a gun) but was inspired by the statue
- of Robert Emmet (1778-1803) in St. Stephen’s Green.
- Irish nationalist and Republican, orator and rebel leader.
- He led an abortive rebellion against British rule in
- 1803 and was captured, tried and executed for high treason
- In this sonnet Boland imagines
- stone maleness – Irish history – heroism.
- She would you look at the statues of the Irish past
- and try to imagine heroism.
- Could she be heroic?
- This is an example of an Irish pastoral poem
- It s about the River Liffey in Dublin.
- and one of the few rivers in the world that
- is considered ‘female’.
- The Irish phrase Abhainn na Life means River Liffey
- The phrase has been Anglicanized to Anna Liffey.
- James Joyce included a character in Finnegin’s Wake
- called Anna Livia.
- Eavan Boland holds a conversation in a fragmented style
- with the river she can see from her doorway at home.