Outside History: Selected Poems, 1980-1990

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Overview

An essential volume by one of our most esteemed poets.
"[Boland is] an original, dazzlingly gifted writer.... Uncompromising intellect, wry perception, and verbal brilliance.... A wonderfully elegant and sensual writer, keenly attuned to the pleasures of form and sound.... She's as musically gifted and as uncompromisingly intelligent as Seamus Heaney, and deserves comparable attention." —David Walker, Field
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Outside History: Selected Poems, 1980-1990

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Overview

An essential volume by one of our most esteemed poets.
"[Boland is] an original, dazzlingly gifted writer.... Uncompromising intellect, wry perception, and verbal brilliance.... A wonderfully elegant and sensual writer, keenly attuned to the pleasures of form and sound.... She's as musically gifted and as uncompromisingly intelligent as Seamus Heaney, and deserves comparable attention." —David Walker, Field
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Editorial Reviews

J. D. McClatchy
“Eavan Boland is a marvelous poet, and Outside History is the best possible introduction to her work. Love and anxiety, memories and mysteries—she's woven them all into a rich verse fabric, thrown like a flowered shawl over her shoulders as she stands out under the chilling night sky, no other soul around but (for that haunting moment) the reader's own.”
David Baker - Kenyon Review
“[Boland] pursues an important, feminist revision of the history-making so often praised or inherited by MacNeice and Heaney. Not so much outside of history as counter to it, or in the process of amending it through addition, Boland has developed in her poetry what Harold Bloom might call an agonistic relationship with the paternal, natural, and often silencing history of traditional Irish poetry. . . . An attentive powerful, encouraging poet.”
Kenyon Review
[Boland] pursues an important, feminist revision of the history-making so often praised or inherited by MacNeice and Heaney. Not so much outside of history as counter to it, or in the process of amending it through addition, Boland has developed in her poetry what Harold Bloom might call an agonistic relationship with the paternal, natural, and often silencing history of traditional Irish poetry. . . . An attentive powerful, encouraging poet.— David Baker
J. D. McClatchy
Eavan Boland is a marvelous poet, and Outside History is the best possible introduction to her work.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With this volume Boland, an Irish poet, establishes herself as an important voice in contemporary poetry. Through close attention to the specific details of women's domestic lives, she transcends minutiae and gives shape to the larger emotions and truths of those lives. In ``Woman in Kitchen,''sic where the ``tropic of the dryer tumbling clothes / the round lunar window of the washer / . . . in a room white and quiet as a mortuary,'' she exposes the inner vitality of her subject by evoking the exterior. The theme of both the creative and the imprisoning power of myth recurs throughout. In the excellent title sequence, Boland explores the movement of women from myth to history, evoking the painful awareness implicit in any move toward self-determination: ``Out of myth into / history I move to be / part of that ordeal / whose darkness is / only now reaching me from the field.'' Her sharpened skill with language, rhythm and form permeates each poem in a collection that is a delight to ear and mind. (Dec.)
Library Journal
This is the first book that the Irish poet Boland has published in America. The poems, slackly composed, consist largely of shopworn prose clunkily parsed into lines: ``Listen. This is the noise of myth. It makes/ the same sound as shadow. Can you hear it?'' Her perspective on the world is self-referential to the point of narcissism; in one poem she informs us that she is wearing ``a denim skirt,/ a blouse blended in/ by the last light,'' in another that she was ``a nine-year-old in high fawn socks,'' in yet another that she attended ``a school where all the children wore darned worsted.'' Boland also attempts to go mythic, with occasionally risible results: ``Look at me, says the tree./ I was a woman once like you,/ full-skirted, human.''-- Frank Lepkowski, Oakland Univ. Lib., Rochester, Mich.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393308228
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Edition description: (Reissued)
  • Pages: 152
  • Sales rank: 749,834
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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 lives in Stanford, California, and Dublin, Ireland.
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Table of Contents

Part 1
I Object Lessons
The Black Lace Fan My Mother Gave Me 19
The Rooms of Other Women Poets 20
Object Lessons 22
On the Gift of The Birds of America by John James Audubon 24
The Game 25
The Shadow Doll 26
The River 27
Mountain Time 28
Bright-cut Irish Silver 29
We Were Neutral in the War 30
II Outside History
1 The Achill Woman 35
2 A False Spring 37
3 The Making of an Irish Goddess 38
4 White Hawthorn in the West of Ireland 40
5 Daphne Heard with Horror the Addresses of the God 41
6 The Photograph on My Father's Desk 43
7 We Are Human History. We Are Not Natural History 44
8 An Old Steel Engraving 45
9 In Exile 46
10 We Are Always Too Late 47
11 What We Lost 48
12 Outside History 50
III Distances
The Latin Lesson 53
Nights of Childhood 55
The Carousel in the Park 56
Contingencies 58
Spring at the Edge of the Sonnet 59
Our Origins Are in the Sea 60
Midnight Flowers 61
Doorstep Kisses 62
A Different Light 63
Hanging Curtains with an Abstract Pattern in a Child's Room 64
Ghost Stories 66
What Love Intended 67
Distances 69
Part 2
I The Journey
The Oral Tradition 75
Mise Eire 78
Self-Portrait on a Summer Evening 80
The Glass King 82
The Women 84
The Briar Rose 86
Fever 87
Lace 89
The Unlived Life 91
The Journey 93
Envoi 97
Suburban Woman: A Detail 98
I Remember 100
The Bottle Garden 101
Growing-up 102
Sarah on Holiday 103
Canaletto in the National Gallery of Ireland 104
An Irish Childhood in England: 1951 106
The Emigrant Irish 108
Fond Memory 109
The Wild Spray 110
Nocturne 112
Listen. This Is the Noise of Myth 113
II Domestic Interior
Degas's Laundresses 119
Woman in Kitchen 121
A Ballad of Beauty and Time 122
The Serpent in the Garden 125
Pose 127
"Daphne with Her Thighs in Bark" 128
The New Pastoral 130
The Woman Turns Herself into a Fish 131
The Muse Mother 134
In the Garden 136
On Renoir's The Grape-Pickers 138
Domestic Interior 139
1 Night Feed 139
2 Monotony 141
3 Energies 143
4 Hymn 144
5 Patchwork 145
6 Endings 147
7 Fruit on a Straight-Sided Tray 148
8 After a Childhood away from Ireland 149
9 Domestic Interior 151
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2013

    Selena

    Hey

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    Posted July 31, 2013

    Jade

    Sighs and walks out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2013

    Night

    Ok.

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    Posted August 1, 2013

    Kentaro&alpha

    Looked around

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    Posted July 31, 2013

    Ashton

    Nothing much : p......everyone always says nothing much after you ask them whats up...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2013

    Lindsay

    K bye

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    Gea

    OMG i need help... My best friend (who is a guy) was like "girls that have red hair are hot." And "girls with the name gea are hot too" but he says we are just friends and we kiss alot... idk what to do... ughhhhh BRIAN YOU ARE FREAKIN KILLIN ME and guess who im friends with.. thats right.... Josh hutcherson AND Nick Robinson AND sadly i personally know Justin bieber... we get high together alot but hes such a wackkk i hate him... since him and selena broke up hes like "gea... get me a gf" and im like "JUSTIN SHUT THE FU<_>CK UP YOU DUMB TOOL!!!!!" And we argue alot... i gave his number to some crazy girl and he flipps and says "YOU STUPID CR<_>ACK HEAD WTH I FU<_>CKIN I HATE YOU!" Ughhh i hate Jb so much.... and josh is hot... witout a shirt... and nick he is so cute But He is obsessive.. hes a good kisser too but my friend brian whom i am inlove with is SO MUCH BETTER ! LOL OHHH AND BRINE SHANE SAYS THANKS AN HIIIIIII BEAUTIFUL!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2013

    Bethany and co.

    Bethany. Walks in and sits down drinking a smoothie. Michaela. Walks in eating a twix bar. Graicee. Walks in wearing a short mini midnight blue skirt and a hotpink strapless blouse hair down with a pink flower clip.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    Brine

    Yay gea thank you!!!! &hearts #shoeyshipper

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2013

    L3Z?B?1AN S3X AT THE THIRD RESULT OF

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