Thursday, May 29, 2008

Reading Eavan Boland

I am reading her New Collected Poems for PFFA's NaPoReMo.

Front flap:
An Origin Like Water: Poems 1967-187 (1996) confirmed Eavan Boland's place at the forefront of contemporary poetry. New Collected Poems brings the record of her achievement up to date, adding material from her subsequent volumes and filling out key poems from the early years. Following the chronology of publication, the reader experiences the exhilarating sense of development, now incremental, now momentous. Boland's work traces a measured process of emancipation from conventions and stereotypes, writing in a space she has cleared not by violent rejection but by dialogue, critical engagement, and patient experimentation with form, theme, and language.

Back flap:
Eavan Boland, one of Ireland's formost poets, was born in Dublin and educated in London, New York, and Dublin. Her books of poetry include Against Love Poetry, The Lost Land, An Origin Like Water, and Outside History. Boland is also the author of Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Times. She is the coeditor of two Norton anthologies: The Making of a Poem (with Mark Strand) and The Making of a Sonnet (with Edward Hirsch). Her awards include a Lannan Foundation Award in Poetry and an American Ireland Fund Literary Award. She has taught at Trinity College, University College, and Bowdoin College; was a member of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa; and is now the Bella Mabury and Eloise Manbury Knapp Professor in Humanities, the Melvin and Bill Lane Professor in English, and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Stanford University.

1. from 23 Poems (1962)
2. New Territory (1967)
3. from 'Femininity and Freedom' (1971)
4. The War Horse (1975)
5. In Her Own Image (1980)
6. Night Feed (1982)
7. The Journey (1987)
8. Outside History (1990)
9. In a Time of Violence (1994)
10. The Lost Land (1996)
11. Against Love Poetry (2001)

Author's Note:
All the poems from nine volumes of poetry have been collected here. Nothing has been left out. Edits and exclusions from the Selected Poems have been reversed. The two volumes that the Collected Poems of 1995 did not include--The Lost Land and Against Love Poetry--have been added. In addition, I have retrieved two poems from 23 Poems, a chapbook which came out in 1962 when I was eighteen. I have also added a brief section from an unpublished verse play, part of which appeared in the Irish Press in 1971 under the title 'Femininity and Freedom'.

Reading the Author's Note

So you re-edit the edits, and include
the ex-exclusions. You call it "reversed."
When the day, and its black letters, are reviewed,
you conclude nothing's better than the first.

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