Friday, March 14, 2008

Irish Poet: Eavan Boland

lamp post

I've been reading more Irish poets this week. At Norton Online I found this new-to-me poet Eavan Boland. She was born in Dublin in 1944 and now teaches at Stanford U. Read all about here here at Wikipedia and follow links to interviews and more poems. Her 2007 book Domestic Violence contains this lovely gem:

Atlantis—A Lost Sonnet

How on earth did it happen, I used to wonder
that a whole city—arches, pillars, colonnades,
not to mention vehicles and animals—had all
one fine day gone under? the rest here.

Jama is doing the Friday Poetry round up and celebrating Bob Dylan today at jama rattagan's alphabet soup.

My favorite Dylan lyric for today is this:

"God Knows

God knows there's a river,
God knows how to make it flow,
God knows you ain't gonna be taking
Nothing with you when you go.

God knows there's a purpose,
God knows there's a chance,
God knows you can rise above the darkest hour
Of any circumstance.

God knows there's a heaven,
God knows it's out of sight,
God knows we can get all the way from here to there
Even if we've got to walk a million miles by candlelight."


John Mutford said...

That poem is fantastic. I don't think I'd have expected it in a book with that title.

Speaking of the Irish, I've been dedicating my Short Story Monday posts to Irish authors as well.

The sentiment in "God Knows" seems to be a paraphrase of "Blowing In The Wind," except that he's given the wind a name.

jama said...

Love discovering new poets. Thanks for pointing me to Eavan Boland. I like Irish writers, too, and keep trying to convince everybody that I'm Irish :).

tanita✿davis said...

I absolutely LOVE Eavan Boland and when I discovered her last April, that's the EXACT same poem of hers I chose as a favorite!!

And what a fantastically clear sky in that photograph. Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

That's really lovely, Cloudscome. I didn't expect that's how the poem would end up. Awesome photo, too.

Anonymous said...

Eaven Boland is a poet I've heard of but never read anything by. This one makes me want to learn more.

I like the Dylan lyric too.

Scrivener said...

I love Boland. I read her in an undergrad poetry seminar and was just blown away.

angelfeet said...

I'd forgotten how much I've enjoyed Eavan Boland in the past. Thank you for reminding me.

Anonymous said...

I, somehow, have missed her and am so glad to discover her now... thanks...
And how queer that the "sonnet" is 15 lines long....

SandyCarlson said...

I enjoy Boland's poetry, too. She is quite a presence. She came to read to my MA class at University College, Dublin, in 1995. Those amazing poems come from one tough lady. Thanks for reminding me of her.

Mary Lee said...

That is a completely satisfying explanation of Atlantis. I'm nodding in agreement and thinking of all the parts of my past that could only be found there...

J. Pannell said...

Have you read Object Lessons? It's Boland's thoughts on writing as a woman in a man's tradition--excellent reading. It's highly readable, too, just perfect for bedtime.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone: Years ago (Spring 1989) I was a student of Evan Boland in Dublin at the School of Irish Studies located about 10 minutes away from Juries Hotel in the Ballsbridge section of Dublin. The School was exclusively for US students doing a "Semester Abroad" She taught an entire semester on Yeats' poetry and there were only 6 students in the class---a truly wonderful experience. A great poet and a really great teacher, too

My favorite Boland poem is "On Renior's The Grape Pickers"

Mark Harrington (Houston, TX, USA)

Unknown said...

your favorite peom; "the grape pickers" would you happen to know the meaning behind it in dept. i have been trying to figure it out but still no answer...