Biography of Eavan Boland
Eavan Boland was born in Dublin, Ireland, on September 24, 1944. Her father was a diplomat and her mother was an expressionist painter.
At the age of six, Boland and her family relocated to London, where she first encountered anti-Irish sentiment. She later returned to Dublin for school, and she received her B.A. from Trinity College in 1966. She was also educated in London and New York.
Her books of poetry include A Woman Without a Country (W. W. Norton, 2014), New Collected Poems (W. W. Norton, 2008), Domestic Violence (W. W. Norton, 2007), Against Love Poetry (W. W. Norton, 2001), The Lost Land (W. W. Norton, 1998), An Origin Like Water: Collected Poems 1967-1987 (W. W. Norton, 1996), In a Time of Violence (W. W. Norton, 1994), Outside History: Selected Poems 1980-1990 (W. W. Norton, 1990), The Journey and Other Poems (Carcanet Press, 1986), Night Feed (M. Boyars, 1982), and In Her Own Image (Arien House, 1980).
In addition to her books of poetry, Boland is also the author of A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet (W. W. Norton, 2011), a collection of essays, which won the 2012 PEN Award; Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time (W. W. Norton, 1995), a volume of prose, After Every War (Princeton, 2004), an anthology of German women poets, and she co-edited The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (with Mark Strand; W. W. Norton, 2000).
Her awards include a Lannan Foundation Award in Poetry, an American Ireland Fund Literary Award, a Jacob’s Award for her involvement in The Arts Programme broadcast on RTÉ Radio, and an honorary degree from Trinity.
She has taught at Trinity College, University College, Bowdoin College, and she was a member of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. She is also a regular reviewer for the Irish Times.
Boland and her husband, author Kevin Casey, have two daughters, and she is currently a professor of English at Stanford University where she directs the creative writing program.
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Eavan Boland Poems
This harbour was made by art and force. And called Kingstown and afterwards Dun Laoghaire. And holds the sea behind its barrier less than five miles from my house.
The only legend I have ever loved is the story of a daughter lost in hell. And found and rescued there.
These are outsiders, always. These stars— these iron inklings of an Irish January, whose light happened
My Country In Darkness
After the wolves and before the elms the bardic order ended in Ireland. Only a few remained to continue
In the worst hour of the worst season of the worst year of a whole people a man set out from the workhouse with his wife. He was walking — they were both walking — north.
The Black Lace Fan My Mother Gave Me
It was the first gift he ever gave her, buying it for five five francs in the Galeries in pre-war Paris. It was stifling.
It was winter, lunar, wet. At dusk Pewter seedlings became moonlight orphans. Pleased to meet you meat to please you
That the Science of Cartography Is Limit...
—and not simply by the fact that this shading of forest cannot show the fragrance of balsam, the gloom of cypresses,
And when I take them out of the cherrywood box these beads are the colour of dog-violets in shadow. Then
Ode to Suburbia
Six o'clock: the kitchen bulbs which blister Your dark, your housewives starting to nose Out each other's day, the claustrophobia
In the worst hour of the worst season
of the worst year of a whole people
a man set out from the workhouse with his wife.
He was walking — they were both walking — north.
She was sick with famine fever and could not keep up.
He lifted her and put her on his back.
He walked like that west and west and north.
Until at nightfall under freezing stars they arrived.