Formidable Style and Subject Matter in Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin's Poetry
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Discuss this statement, supporting your answer with reference to the poetry of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin on your course.
With a demanding subject matter coupled with a uniquely formidable style both constants in her poetry, reading Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s work can prove to be a challenging experience. However, while I find primarily her demanding subject matter poses the greatest challenge to me, I also believe Ní Chuilleanáin’s undeniably formidable style reinforces the ethos and exposes the overall message of such demanding subject matter.
The poem, ‘Street’, I find, deals with the subject matter of the ignorance associated with preconceptions and stereotyping, habits that seep deep into our subconscious almost from birth.
Initially, I find the opening description of the young woman as ‘the butcher’s daughter’ to ring out in tones of innocence; I myself have already automatically passed judgement on this woman, awarding her unearned trust, a reaction I believe Ní Chuilleanáin to provoke quite deliberately.
Allied with the title ‘Street’, the definite article attached to ‘the butcher’s daughter’ causes us to infer a knowing, familiar safety from what can be imagin...