“Poetry begins where language starts: in the shadows and accidents of one person’s life.”
On Monday, April 27th, 2020, the world lost an inspirational poet. Eavan Boland passed away from a stroke in her Dublin home. She was a powerhouse wordsmith who wrote with passion, insight, and feminity.
Boland was an admired Stanford professor, the winner of the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, and a pioneer for Irish poetry. Born in Dublin in 1944, she started writing poetry in the 1960s when Irish poetry was a male-dominated arena.
She wasn’t Yeats or Heaney, so her poetry wasn’t widely accepted as “traditional Irish poetry.” Still, she continued to write and put herself in what was always considered a man’s space.
“In my generation, women went from being the objects of the Irish poem to being the authors of the Irish poem, and that was very disruptive in a literature that probably wasn’t prepared for that.”The South Bend Tribune of Indiana, 1997
Instead, she used her poetry to represent women how they are. She portrayed femininity with a personal touch. She helped move poetry in a new direction. Now, she will be remembered as one of Ireland’s greatest poets.
To honor her, little infinite has collected some of our favorite Eavan Boland poems. Let’s celebrate her work and her amazing contributions to the poetry community.
If you want even more poetry by Boland, be sure to pick up a few of her collections. A Woman Without A Country is one of our favorites. This collection discusses how we can all leave a legacy of love in the world no matter where we call home.
Bonus: Here is a bit of writing advice from Eavan Boland that we can all relate to.
“If you can’t do a poem, you can do a line. And if you can’t do a line, you can do an image — and that pathway that leads you along, in fragments, becomes astonishingly valuable.”Stanford Magazine, 2002