Eavan Boland, Essential Poetry Guide
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Eavan Boland (born 24 September 1944 in Dublin) is an Irish poet, author, and professor who has been active since the 1960s. She is currently a professor at Stanford University, where she has taught since 1996. Her work deals with the Irish national identity, and the role of women in Irish history.
The War Horse
This dry night, nothing unusual
About the clip, clop, casual
Iron of his shoes as he stamps death
Like a mint on the innocent coinage of earth.
I lift the window, watch the ambling feather
Of hock and fetlock, loosed from its daily tether
In the tinker camp on the Enniskerry Road,
Pass, his breath hissing, his snuffling head
Down. He is gone. No great harm is done.
Only a leaf of our laurel hedge is torn—
Of distant interest like a maimed limb,
Only a rose which now will never climb
The stone of our house, expendable, a mere
Line of defence against him, a volunteer
You might say, only a crocus, its bulbous head
Blown from growth, one of the screamless dead.
But we, we are safe, our unformed fear
Of fierce commitment gone; why should we care
If a rose, a hedge, a crocus are uprooted
Like corpses, remote, crushed, mutilated?
He stumbles on like a rumour of war, huge
Threatening. Neighbours us...