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Collected Poems

Eavan Boland

Cover Picture of Collected Poems
Categories: 20th Century, Irish, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • The fields are dark already.
    The frail connections have been made and are broken.
    The dumb-show of legend has become language,
    is becoming silence and who will know that once

    words were possibilities and disappointments,
    were scented closets filled with love-letters
    and memories and lavender hemmed into muslin,
    stored in sachets, aired in bed-linen;

    and travelled silks and the tones of cotton
    tautened into bodices, subtly shaped by breathing;
    were the rooms of childhood with their griefless peace,
    their hands and whispers, their candles weeping brightly?
    from 'Outside History: What We Lost'

    Eavan Boland confronts the challenges with which her situation, as an Irish poet and as a woman, presents her. Her writing and example are vitally enabling for young writers and readers; she traces a measured process of emancipation from conventions and stereotypes, writing now in a space she has cleared not by violent rejection, but by dialogue, critical engagement and patient experimentation with form, theme and language. Collected Poems includes her early collections: New Territory, The War Horse and In Her Own Tongue, as well as her four Carcanet volumes.

    Please note that Eavan Boland's New Collected Poems contains and expands on this volume.
    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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Cover of New Collected Poems
New Collected Poems Eavan Boland
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