Eavan Boland Essay

1379 Words Sep 3rd, 2011 6 Pages
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 …show more content…
However, what I really love in this poem is how Boland takes a personal relationship and lends it universal relevance by employing icons of youth culture “her can of coke”, “teen magazines”.

W.H. Auden once praised Adrienne Rich for poems that “speak quietly but do not mumble”. However, in my view, this quote would be truer of Boland’s work. I just love how Boland writes poetry with a political flavour. I think “The War Horse” is a prime example of this trait. In this dual-narrative, Boland charts the journey of a horse which escaped “from the tinker camp on the Enniskerry Road” However, I am led to believe the underlying current in this poem is a reflection on the apathy and almost disinterest of people in the Republic to the “Troubles” in the North. “Neighbourhoods use the subterfuge of curtains”, “only a leaf of our laurel hedge is torn”. This is one of the key aspects of Boland’s poetry for me. Boland writes poems that speak, speak without shouting.

Boland’s voice really makes me listen. The message in “The Famine Road” really interests and horrifies me. Although there has been a myriad of poems and a wealth of literature produced on this topic, Boland gives a different view on this issue. Boland takes two situations in this poem and junxtaposes them marvellously. One deals with the flippant attitude of the English oppressors: “These Irish/ Give them no coins at

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