In a Time of Violence

In a Time of Violence

by Eavan Boland
     
 

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The publication of Eavan Boland's previous book, Outside History: Selected Poems 1980-1990, established Boland as a significant presence in the contemporary American poetry world.
This, her seventh book, continues to mine what she has termed "the meeting place between womanhood and history."

Overview

The publication of Eavan Boland's previous book, Outside History: Selected Poems 1980-1990, established Boland as a significant presence in the contemporary American poetry world.
This, her seventh book, continues to mine what she has termed "the meeting place between womanhood and history."

Editorial Reviews

The Nation
Boland combines impeccable craft, resilient metaphors and, above all, moral authority in order to witness human difficulties. Critics already align her ideas with those of Adrienne Rich and Margaret Atwood, and I'd add Toni Morrison, Nadine Gordimer and William Gass.— Jan Garden Castro
Booklist
“One of Ireland's finest contemporary writers, as passionate and ambitious as Kenneally, as classical and meticulous as Heaney. . . . This is profound moving work from a poet at the height of her powers.”
Jan Garden Castro - The Nation
“Boland combines impeccable craft, resilient metaphors and, above all, moral authority in order to witness human difficulties. Critics already align her ideas with those of Adrienne Rich and Margaret Atwood, and I'd add Toni Morrison, Nadine Gordimer and William Gass.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Boland follows her previous collection, Outside History: Selected Poems, 1980-1990 , by moving inside it with poems that plumb her individual history and that of Ireland. Arranged in three sections, the poetry describes an arc. The first poems capture moments rooted in the last century and, with their chronological distance, can seem remote. More immediate in tone and domestic in context are poems in the second section, where Boland seeks continuity in recollections of her childhood and experiences with her daughters: ``My hair was once like yours. / And the world / is less bitter to me / because you will retell the story'' (``Legends''). In the last poems, Boland examines her often conflicting perceptions of herself as woman and poet, observing in the long and well-sustained ``Anna Liffey'' that ``it will not matter / That I was a woman . . . / In the end / everything that burdened and distinguished me / will be lost in this: / I was a voice.'' In the best work here, exhibiting Boland's characteristic directness of syntax and emotion, the poet persuasively claims a place in a history, whether it is her country's, her family's or her own as a poet. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Irish poet Boland frequently employs the simplest of phrases to get her ideas across (``One tree is black./ One window is yellow as butter''), and her poems offer a certain intimacy and refinement, like the curio showing a woman painted on a leaf that serves as the subject of one poem. But the poems as a whole have a certain grandeur, a sense of bold timelessness, the pleasure of someone speaking directly to you. Boland is concerned with the myths that shape us, and she ferrets them out by coming at her subject at an angle: the forest whose road was built by ``famine workers''; the Irish seamstresses fashioning beautiful garments as their ``coffin ships''; the dolls with their ``terrible stares,'' signifying not playtime but a time we can no longer imagine; the myth of Persephone used to understand how we let go of our children. An ambitious cycle that opens the book limns the violence beneath the calmest surfaces: ``waiting under/ beautiful speech. To strike.'' This is fine writing that, indeed, has the power of myth and the power to do violence to our jaded expectations. Highly recommended.-- Barbara Hoffert, ``Library Journal''

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393312980
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
05/01/1995
Pages:
80
Sales rank:
1,075,944
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.19(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Eavan Boland is the author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry and nonfiction. A professor and the director of the creative writing program at Stanford University, she is the winner of a Lannan Foundation Award. She lives in Stanford, California, and Dublin, Ireland.

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