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In a Time of Violence: Poems (Norton Paperback) Paperback – May 17, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Boland follows her previous collection, Outside History: Selected Poems, 1980-1990 , by moving inside it with poems that plumb her individual history and that of Ireland. Arranged in three sections, the poetry describes an arc. The first poems capture moments rooted in the last century and, with their chronological distance, can seem remote. More immediate in tone and domestic in context are poems in the second section, where Boland seeks continuity in recollections of her childhood and experiences with her daughters: "My hair was once like yours. / And the world / is less bitter to me / because you will retell the story" ("Legends"). In the last poems, Boland examines her often conflicting perceptions of herself as woman and poet, observing in the long and well-sustained "Anna Liffey" that "it will not matter / That I was a woman . . . / In the end / everything that burdened and distinguished me / will be lost in this: / I was a voice." In the best work here, exhibiting Boland's characteristic directness of syntax and emotion, the poet persuasively claims a place in a history, whether it is her country's, her family's or her own as a poet.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Irish poet Boland frequently employs the simplest of phrases to get her ideas across ("One tree is black./ One window is yellow as butter"), and her poems offer a certain intimacy and refinement, like the curio showing a woman painted on a leaf that serves as the subject of one poem. But the poems as a whole have a certain grandeur, a sense of bold timelessness, the pleasure of someone speaking directly to you. Boland is concerned with the myths that shape us, and she ferrets them out by coming at her subject at an angle: the forest whose road was built by "famine workers"; the Irish seamstresses fashioning beautiful garments as their "coffin ships"; the dolls with their "terrible stares," signifying not playtime but a time we can no longer imagine; the myth of Persephone used to understand how we let go of our children. An ambitious cycle that opens the book limns the violence beneath the calmest surfaces: "waiting under/ beautiful speech. To strike." This is fine writing that, indeed, has the power of myth and the power to do violence to our jaded expectations. Highly recommended.
- Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Norton Paperback
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Norton Paperback edition (May 17, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393312984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393312980
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,049,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on December 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
This collection, like Outside History, paints the feminine landscape with an unexpected strength. Her poems inspire me with their music and their accurate depiction of the conflicting feelings that the roles of mother, woman and artist/individual can produce. Boland, like Plath, creates myth from the familiar and reveals both the power and vulnerability of womanhood.
My favorite poem is The Pomegranate, which I think should be required reading for any would-be mother, the mother of a daughter and/or a teen. When I heard Boland read this poem aloud, I was moved to tears.
She is often compared to Heaney--not just because they're both Irish (I hope), but because her talent for controlling and using language is matched only by his.
I cannot praise this work or this poet highly enough.
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This book is the best book of modern poetry I have read in a number of years. Boland is precise and wonderfully surprising with the pleasure of 'beautiful language.' Boland has the insight of the poet and the understand of a woman who in a real world with children and husbands and Autumn air. My favorite poem is the one about Writing in College. The depth of meaning in this poem is magnificent. I highly recommend this book.
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Eavan Boland's poetry is in keeping with the great Irish writer's tradition. Her's are poems of place, Ireland, as seen through the lens of a deep feeling, keen observor. There is lyricism, history, tragedy, and grief in these poems. I was very touched.
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Boland is a genius.
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thanx
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