Questions of identity— as an Irish woman, mother, poet, and exile— give rise to much of Eavan Boland’s poetry. She was born in Dublin, but grew up in London, where anti-Irish racism gave her a strong sense of her heritage. Irish history and myth also figure prominently in her work. The author of eight collections of poetry, she was also a professor of English at Stanford University.
More By This Poet
The Lost Land
I have two daughters.
They are all I ever wanted from the earth.
Or almost all.
I also wanted one piece of ground:
One city trapped by hills. One urban river.
An island in its element.
So I could say mine. My own.
And mean it.
My mother died one summer—
the wettest in the records of the state.
Crops rotted in the west.
Checked tablecloths dissolved in back gardens.
Empty deck chairs collected rain.
As I took my way to her
through traffic, through lilacs dripping blackly
and on curbsides, to...
How We Made a New Art on Old Ground
A famous battle happened in this valley.
You never understood the nature poem.
Till now. Till this moment—if these statements
seem separate, unrelated, follow this
silence to its edge and you will hear
the history of air: the crispness of a fern
or the upward cut...