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EAVAN BOLAND

(b. 1944)
15 / 04 / 2011

EAVAN BOLAND women‟s voices in Ireland are under-represented:  an intensely patriarchal public and private ethos. Mother Ireland or Dark Rosaleen)  . intensified by religious patriarchy  a tradition of male writing about women in which religious and nationalist iconography represented them as passive. emblematic of territory  Ireland traditionally portrayed as a woman (Cathleen Ni Houlihan.

EAVAN BOLAND  poetry as a „male preserve‟  Boland started writing in the early 1960s movement for women‟s rights in Ireland (the 2nd wave of feminism) “I know now that I began writing in a country where the word woman and the word poet were almost magnetically opposed.” .women poets appearing together with a broader .

compelled to write under the enormous influence of W.attempting to write „like a man‟ . Yeats - .” „genderless‟ poems . B.EAVAN BOLAND “The best thing about your work is that you would never know it was by a woman.

EAVAN BOLAND  inspiration in everyday life and in ordinary details  opposing the cherished stereotypical images which represented women only as objects of the male gaze  Whom can female poets invoke for inspiration? .

Venus on the half-shell. with the beautiful body.. not that creature In the painting. Can You not see I‟m an ordinary woman Tied to the moon‟s phases.. Paula Meehan. “Not Your Muse” . bloody Six days in twenty-eight? .EAVAN BOLAND I‟m not your muse.

EAVAN BOLAND  set out to redefine and explore her female identity in the poem „women have gone from being the objects of the Irish poem to being the authors of it‟  „In the Irish poem I had inherited you could have a political murder but not a baby. you could have the Dublin hills but not the suburbs under them.‟  .

EAVAN BOLAND  recording those aspects of life that have been marginalized in terms of history and poetic tradition  the neglected and un-recorded  The I-voice of her poems always and exclusively that of the woman who acquires her own voice. . turning from an object to the subject of the poem.

  OUTSIDE HISTORY The Irish woman has always existed some place “outside history”. not participating in allegedly important historical events made exclusively by men  “As far as history goes we were never on the scene of the crime” .

EAVAN BOLAND   a huge difference between the two sides of history: the “officially” known and recognized history – his story  the story of women traditionally existing somewhere outside the scope of Western history – her story .

… Let me die” (“A Woman Painted…”) . I want a poem I can die in.the national emblems of Ireland  refusing any identification with static and stereotypical images of the women fixed in timeless youth and beauty in the Irish poem  “I want a poem I can grow old in.EAVAN BOLAND  subverting the passive and voiceless images of Cathleen Ni Houlihan or Dark Rosaleen .

the neglected subject)  often referred to as a „domestic poet‟ .  the imagery which is not considered poetic enough (the demeaned.autobiographical elements  the „suburban and child-and-woman centred poetry‟  a baby‟s bottle.EAVAN BOLAND  in many of her poems her lyric speakers are Boland herself . dishes. nappies. remnants of food etc.

and the baby‟s bottle. after a day spent in the house or with little children. … I felt about them. These were parts of my world. and the kitchen. Not to write about them would have been artificial. And my lexicon was the kettle and the steam. exactly the same way the nature poet feels after taking the same walk for several days and seeing the same tree or the same bird. They assumed importances.EAVAN BOLAND After a while I came to think of myself as an indoor nature poet. and the machine in the corner. . Those objects were visible to me.

EAVAN BOLAND  the world of domestic interiors becomes a poetic world with its own significance  it is not less important than the outside urban or rural spaces inscribed in the poetry of other poets .

mastectomy. masturbation or striptease .EAVAN BOLAND   In Her Own Image (1980) taboo subjects related to women‟s bodies:  anorexia. domestic violence.

self-suppression. … The lyric speaker still stood in almost the same place in the poem as he stood . in Yeats‟ time. since none of the circumstances of the book ever happened to me. .. I was still in the house. mutilation. with small daughters. I was also in this country with its complicated silences about a woman‟s body.EAVAN BOLAND  Each of the poems plucks at a dark side of the body – violence. But it was still a book of the body. That isn‟t where I stood or wanted to stand. Not of my body. A book of physical metaphors perhaps.. At least not in the autobiographical sense. And I wanted to write a book of the body. exactly.

EAVAN BOLAND  the need to resist the ways in which the male lyric labels and idealises women  her female speakers burdened by: .the beliefs of the Catholic church .the images of asexual beauties of Irish poetic tradition  ready to confront the taboos deeply rooted in Irish society .

EAVAN BOLAND attempts to turn the “trivial” and “private” into “universal” and “public”  perceiving and conveying women from a woman‟s point of view  .