Eavan Boland Poem Analysis

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4.1 Introduction: This chapter discusses Eavan Boland's poetry that focuses on the central experiences of ordinary women. Presenting such activities as motherhood and domestic life as vital elements of the Irish nation and civilization in general, she challenges the opinion that such topics are mundane or inappropriate for literature. Many of her poems express a sense of anger and imprisonment associated with the constricted or unrealistic expectations placed upon women by Irish society. "Poetry was always a man's preserve in Ireland. Then came Eavan Boland, who shook the hidebound patriarchy to its roots and changed the canon forever." By these words Diane Rogers begins her essay "She Was Radical and She Was Right" referring to Boland. This…show more content…
Boland, on the other hand, has always made it a point to clarify that, although she considers herself a feminist, she does not consider herself a feminist poet. In a 1998 interview, Boland repeated this sentiment, saying: Poetry begins where the certainties end. I would have to say as someone who has benefited from, and is honoured to consider themselves a feminist, that literature must not be bent out of shape to accommodate an ethical position…Women writers have struggled to be heard in this century and it is very important they are not part of silencing anyone else (qtd. in Battersby, 1). While Boland does not consider herself a feminist poet because she claims that definition is too essentialist, too separatist (Boland, 1995,254), it is evident to anyone who reads her work that her poetry does indeed fit under the umbrella of feminism. In her writing career which has spanned over four decades, her poetry has moved from the timid feminine phase of mimicry and imitation of male models of writing, to a brief but powerful feminist phase, then to an enduring female phase which explores all aspects of the female experience—both positive and…show more content…
Compared to Showalter's novelists, the feminine phase for Irish women poets lasted much longer, in fact as late as the 1970s. That being the case, the 1980s—not the turn of the century—as the short-lived feminist phase for the few Irish women poets who were willing to try their hand at a form of poetry which was not well received by their local literary community. The feminist phase and the female phase both share the same ideological goals of gender equality, but their methods of achieving those goals differ. In general, the feminist phase can be described as direct confrontation and ardent protest against a patriarchal literary tradition. While the early female phase continued to demonstrate rebellion, it transcended anger and confrontation, choosing to open the fields of discourse to all concerned

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