This poem offers critique into a moment of Irish history when Ireland, through independence, was rising to the light. But Irish women were facing lives as constricted in independence as under empire. Decades later, Eavan Boland reads a newspaper of her grandmother’s near-eviction and is consumed both by rage and critique of how history concerns itself with the politics of men, not women. This poem is a corrective, turning the gaze on historians, as well as history.
Eavan Boland was an Irish poet, author, and professor at Stanford University, where she taught from 1996. Her work deals with the Irish national identity, and the role of women in Irish history. Her books of poetry include The Historians: Poems, Against Love Poetry: Poems, New Collected Poems, and many more.
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