New Collected Poems

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9780393065794: New Collected Poems

An expansive, celebratory collection from “one of the finest and boldest poets of the last half century” (Poetry Review).

An Origin Like Water: Poems 1967–1987 confirmed Eavan Boland’s place at the forefront of modern Irish poetry. New Collected Poems now 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 now in a space she has cleared not by violent rejection, but by dialogue, critical engagement, and patient experimentation with form, theme, and language.

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About the Author:

Eavan Boland is the author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry and nonfiction. A professor and the director of the creative writing program at Stanford University, she is the winner of a Lannan Foundation Award. She lives in Stanford, California, and Dublin, Ireland.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* If Yeats and Sylvia Plath had a love child, she would be Eavan Boland. Often hailed as a foremost contemporary Irish poet, she is a major world poet, as this rich collection of more than 40 years’ work attests. Like Yeats, in whose shadow all Irish poets mature, she employs a sonorous yet earthy English, often in traditional forms and heavy iambics, though more recently in free verse. Like Yeats, too, she writes of myth as well as her life, bonding ancient and modern, archetype and autobiography. Like Plath, from her earliest poems, she has made women’s lives her primary subject. Unlike Plath, she has a sturdy marriage—the subject of some of her most moving recent work. (In the eloquent “Against Love Poetry,” Boland describes a marriage that can’t be contained in tradition: “Love poetry cannot do justice to this . . . I did not find my womanhood in the servitude of custom” but in “the contradictions of a daily love.”) This book includes examples of Boland’s early, formalistic work and all of nine later volumes. Having the early, deeply Irish “War Horse” and “Famine Road” between the same covers with the resonant “Journey,” which visits the Hades of a woman’s life before modern medicine, makes this book invaluable. The additional presence of the formally freer but as spiritually intense recent poems makes it indispensable. --Patricia Monaghan

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