The Appeal of Boland's Poetry
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Using the above title, write an essay outlining what you consider to be the appeal of Boland’s poetry.
Eavan Boland’s poetry is appealing for many reasons, but the three I would like to examine for the purposes of this essay are as follows: 1) Her unique perspective on Irish history; 2) The striking nature and delivery of her love poetry; and 3) Her delicate yet precise use of language and imagery.
‘Outside History’ is a poem that focuses on Irish History, our need to know and remember it; and its final lines harbour a tone of regret and helplessness. The ‘ordeal’ that Boland alludes to is the Great Famine and, as in ‘The Famine Road’, her speaker recounts the trauma of the Irish men and women dying on the roads.
When reading this poem, all we can do as Boland’s readers is to kneel beside and whisper in their ears our word of comfort. Boland repeats the final line to highlight what is hinted at in the title: that as women have been ‘outside history’, it is too late to do anything about them; all we can do is act now for the future. Boland may also be hinting that she has m...