The Poetry of Eavan Boland

Theo Dorgan at the Dublin Review of Books:

Steadily, poem by poem and book by book, Eavan worked her way into the heart of darkness, not in the Conradian sense of course, but into the centre of those marginal, penumbral zones outside the spotlight of what was “officially” deemed worthy of being remembered. Hers was a double journey ‑ the poet finding her way into the self-granted warrant of her craft, the citizen struggling for the vindication of women, for a more amplified and more truthful narrative of Ireland. Her method was her purpose: in confronting exclusion, in the historical sense, she simultaneously chose to examine her own path into permission, into the poem, ever-present to herself, always questioning her step-by-step progress into her own gathering experience of making. And at the same time, not as a polemicist but as a citizen, she was attempting to formulate, or reformulate, a more ample and truthful vision of Ireland. By the time she had arrived at the pared back landscapes and poemscapes of Outside History and Against Love Poetry, it seems to me that she had succeeded in fusing her double quest: she had found a way to speak plainly of and for all those whom history had cast aside, a neglect, often deliberate, that was both political and moral; and at the same time she had found in herself a voice she could finally consider adequate to her subject and to the unforgiving demands of her craft.

more here.