Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time (Paperback)
Eavan Boland reflects upon her growth as both a poet and as a woman writing poems, providing insightful perspective into the historical boundedness of each category. This book is a brilliant example of an artist working at the peak of her career, bringing the imaginative resources of her medium to bear on the materials of her own life.— From Graham
In this important prose work, one of our major poets explores, through autobiography and argument, a woman's life in Ireland together with a poet's work.
Eavan Boland beautifully uncovers the powerful drama of how these lives affect one another; how the tradition of womanhood and the historic vocation of the poet act as revealing illuminations of the other.
About the Author
Eavan Boland (1944—2020) was the author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry, including Outside History and several volumes of nonfiction, and was coeditor of the anthology The Making of Poem. Born in Dublin, Ireland, she was one of the foremost female voices in Irish literature. She received a Lannan Foundation Award and an American Ireland Fund Literary Award, among other honors. She taught at Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Bowdoin College, and Stanford University, where she was the director of the creative writing program.
Thoughtfully, Boland recounts the long, uncertain process by which she came to construct (as any poet must) a persona: how she grew out of that well-schooled girl with an unsettled past and a well-received early book, into herself, a wife and mother residing in a Dublin suburb, beginning to write poems of another kind. . . . Eavan Boland has made an honest book and written of intricate matters courteously. She has proposed to her reader a composed, level-headed, yet spirited argument.
— Los Angeles Times
In a prose style so lyrical, spare and elegiac it rivals poetry, she draws us into personal memory, autobiographical anecdote and family history. . . . It is not like any other book in memory: inspired, relentless, deliberately and eloquently hand-drawn.
— The Nation