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Selected Poems

Charlotte Mew

Edited by Eavan Boland

Selected Poems by Charlotte Mew
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Categories: 19th Century, 20th Century, Women
Imprint: FyfieldBooks
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (44 pages)
(Pub. Feb 2008)
9781857549621
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eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Feb 2008)
9781847776006
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eBook (Kindle)
(Pub. Feb 2008)
9781847776013
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  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  •         Red is the strangest pain to bear;
    In Spring the leaves on the budding trees;
    In Summer the roses are worse than these,
            More terrible than they are sweet:
            A rose can stab you across the street
                   Deeper than any knife:
        And the crimson haunts you everywhere -
    Thin shafts of sunlight, like the ghosts of reddened swords have struck our stair
    As if, coming down, you had spilt your life.
                    
                                       from 'The Quiet House'
    'The great unshackling of women's voices in poetry has one of its beginnings right here. These sad beautiful poems are full of rendings and breakings and burnings.'

    So writes Eavan Boland in her introduction to her selection of poems of Charlotte Mew (1868-1928). Identifying in Mew the startling, powerful voice that first made possible a new kind of poetry, free of Victorian expectations of a 'poetess', Boland has selected the poems that have meant most to her as a reader and a writer. The dialogue between the two poets establishes Mew's place in the continuing dialogue of women's writing.
    Charlotte Mew
    Charlotte Mew was born in London in 1869, the third child of an architect, and was educated at a girl's school in London. Her first published work was a short story in The Yellow Book in 1894. In May 1912 Mew was introduced to May Sinclair, a leading novelist who ... read more
    Eavan Boland
    Born in Dublin in 1944, Eavan Boland studied in Ireland, London and New York. Her first book was published in 1967. She has taught at Trinity College, University College and Bowdoin College Dublin, and at the University of Iowa. She was Mabury Knapp Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, California. ... read more
    Awards won by Eavan Boland Winner, 2020 Costa Poetry Award
    (The Historians)
    Winner, 2017 Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award
    Praise for Eavan Boland
    '...She has a dazzling gift for marrying the poem's narrative to its underlying considerations and themes, her carefully enacted restraint heightening the impact of the frequently stunning closing image.'

    Maya C. Popa, Poetry Review

    'The poems, all of them, have that familiar, spare, feel to them - the clarity of cold water, the measured cadence, the plain diction and the leaping insight so characteristic of her mature work - but there is grief here of a depth and of a kind that chills the heart... against the darkness that eddies and gathers in this, the last book we will have from her hand, there is indeed redemptive light'

    Theo Dorgan, Dublin Review of Books

    'This is a fitting tribute to a poet whose work has revised history as we know it and whose talent will be much missed.'

    Poetry Book Society Winter Bulletin

    'The first poem in Boland's book, The Fire Gilder, is one of the best Irish poems of the past half-century.'

    Colm Tóibín, The Irish Times

    'Truly consumable, enjoyable and emotive... all the things that great poetry should be.'

    Jasmine Reads, YouTube

    '[The Historians] zooms in with characteristic musicality and intelligence on what the stories that are often overlooked - those of women'

    Rishi Dastidar, The Guardian Poetry Books of the Year 2020

    'It is, as came to be expected from Boland, filled with stories of ordinary Irish women, sensitively rendered in her understated verse. In revisiting the otherwise erased experiences of her subjects, Boland asks us to reconfigure our own understanding of the past, though she acknowledges the difficulties of that, too'
    The New Statesman
    'There's a poignancy here that is hard to avoid... This modest collection is welcome and those who have not read Boland - few though they may be - will find here at least an introduction to her always-potent art. For others, it will serve as a coda to a poetic life well lived.'
    Books Ireland Magazine
    'It feels, reading it in the wake of her death, to be unsettlingly prophetic, a fitting close to the life's work of a great poet'
    Seán Hewitt, The Irish Times
    '... a rich, unsettling moral adventure in memory and responsibility.'
    Theo Dorgan
     Eavan Boland's A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet contains essays both personal and public written in a tone urgent and wise, with astute observations on her own trajectory as a poet and the work of Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath and Paula Meehan, among others.
    Colm Toibin, The Irish Times, Our Favourite Books of 2011
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