“Readers of this work will recognize and relish the way this collection charts a life's course.”--Publishers Weekly
Here, from one of our major poets, is the collected early work that has been long unavailable in this country. Included in this volume is the work from Eavan Boland's five early volumes of poetry: New Territory, The War Horse, In Her Own Image, Night Feed, and The Journey.
The poems from Boland's first book, New Territory, show her to be, at twenty-two, a master of formal verse reflecting Irish history and myth. This collection charts the ways in which Boland's work breaks from poetic tradition, honors it, and reinvents it. Poems like “Anorexic,” “Mastectomy,” and “Witching” have an intensity reminiscent of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. In later poems, her subjects become more personal, sequencing Boland's life as a woman, poet, and mother. Boland writes, “I grew to understand the Irish poetic tradition only when I went into exile with it,” becoming, in effect, «a displaced person / in a pastoral chaos.”
This collection demonstrates how Boland's mature voice developed from the poetics of inner exile into a subtle, flexible idiom uniquely her own.