Eavan Boland Quotes.
I began to write in an enclosed, self-confident literary culture. The poet’s life stood in a burnished light in the Ireland of that time. Poets were still poor, had little sponsored work, and could not depend on a sympathetic reaction to their poetry. But the idea of the poet was honored.
Poetry begins where language starts: in the shadows and accidents of one person’s life.
I’m really fortunate to be at Stanford. I go home every 10 weeks, but Stanford apart from being just a wonderful university is one of the places that are part of a great conversation.
Poetry is one of the most fugitive arts: it can be assigned to memory, taken and hidden in the mind, smuggled into smoky cabin back rooms, recited there and then conveyed only by speech to another person. It is therefore the most likely to survive colonization.
Flesh is heretic.
My body is a witch.
I am burning it.
My body is a witch.
I am burning it.
At the age of seventeen, I left school. I went to university, and I wrote my first attempts at poetry in a room in a flat at the edge of the city.
In those years of the Fifties, in London and New York, I lived, without knowing it, in a time when the profoundest changes were happening: when a radical alteration was getting ready to happen in the way a society saw young girls. And, as a consequence, in the way they saw themselves.
The United States’ poetry emerged when there was a high literacy rate in the United States, even in the 19th century. People read the poetry when it was written. In Ireland, there was a poor literacy rate and people remember that poetry. That was handed on as a memorial tradition.
It has always seemed to me a great honor to be called an Irish poet. I don’t think I will ever lose that, but it’s also a great honor to be a woman poet. I put those things together.
I didn’t know how to weigh ideas about poetry. Nothing in the life I lived as a student – and later as wife and mother at the suburban edge of Dublin – suggested I had the wherewithal to do so. But I did have a unit of measurement. It was the measure of my own life.
I have always loved American poetry, which is very different from Irish poetry.
. . . We love fog because it shifts old anomalies into the elements surrounding them. It gives relief from a way of seeing
I would come to understand there is no poem separable from its source. I began to see that poems are not just an individual florescence. They are also a vast root system growing down into ideas and understandings. Almost unbidden, they tap into the history and evolution of art and language.
Love will heal What language fails to know
I loved the illusion, the conviction, the desire – whatever you want to call it – that the words were agents rather than extensions of reality. That they made my life happen, rather than just recorded it happening.
I had grown up as an Irish poet in a country where the distance between vision and imagination was not quite as wide as in some other countries.
Poetry begins where language starts: in the shadows and accidents of one personвЂ™s life.
As far as I was concerned, it was the absence of women in the poetic tradition which allowed women in the poems to be simplified. The voice of a woman poet would, I was sure, have precluded such distortion. It did not exist.
If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift.
There is a recurring temptation for any nation, and for any writer who operates within its field of force, to make an ornament of the past: to turn the losses to victories and to restate humiliations as triumphs.
New voices in an old art – and women poets have been that for much more than a century – do not diminish the art through the category. They enrich it. They renew it with common quandaries of craft and innovation. The category simply allows the quandaries to be seen more clearly.
Beauty has as many meanings as man has moods.
It is certainly true that writers take a stance at some variance from organized religion. This has not always been true. But since the romantic movement – and I’m referring now exclusively to poetry – the emphasis has been on the individual imagination defined against, rather than in terms of, any orthodoxy.
In my thirties I found myself, to use a colloquial fiction, in a suburban house at the foothills of the Dublin mountains. Married and with two little daughters, I led a life which would have been recognizable to any woman who had led it and to many others who had not.
During my twenties and thirties, my interest in the political poem increased as my apparent access to it declined. I sensed resistances around me. I was married; I lived in a suburb; I had small children.
If a poet does not tell the truth about time, his or her work will not survive it. Past or present, there is a human dimension to time, human voices within it, and human griefs ordained by it.
There is nothing settled about a poet’s identity. The becoming doesn’t stop because the being has been achieved. They proceed together, attached in ways that are hard to be exact about.
To be an Irish poet after that 19th century in which there was such a struggle toward the light, I think still will always be in the hearts of the writers of my generation and the generations before and hopefully the generations after.
One of the things women poets have been engaged in – among the other things they’ve been doing – is revising parts of the poetic self. Re-examining notions of the authority within the poem, and of the poem.
I still believe many poets begin in fear and hope: fear that the poetic past will turn out to be a monologue rather than a conversation. And hope that their voice can be heard as that past turns into a future.