Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

Spring 2012


For those familiar with Eavan Boland's book, Object Lessons, her latest defense of the woman poet begins in well-traveled territory. A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet) reiterates her struggles to find an authentic voice in a poetic and political history that has largely excluded the voices of women. She again notes her sense of dislocation-Irish but not raised in Ireland-and recognizes the effect of such dislocation on her participation in the project called Irish poetry. She repeats her observation that poetry has traditionally been confined to the recondite, defined as war, death, and God, a definition excluding the domestic sphere in all its humanity and intensity. All of this is discernibly conventional when: Boland is concerned. The key difference between Object Lessons and A Journey, however, appears to be in her conclusions: where Object Lessons reconstructs her struggle to become a woman poet, A Journey with Two Maps seems to signal her arrival.


Originally published in Irish Literary Supplement, Spring 2012.

ISSN: 0733-3390