Get Your Premium Membership

Eavan Boland Poems

A collection of select Eavan Boland famous poems that were written by Eavan Boland or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

Don't forget to view our Eavan Boland home page with links to biographical information, articles, and more poems that may not be listed here.

See also:

by Boland, Eavan
 Flesh is heretic.
My body is a witch.
I am burning it.

Yes I am torching
ber curves and paps and wiles.
They scorch in my self denials.

How she meshed my head
in the half-truths
of her fevers

till I renounced
milk and honey
and the taste of lunch.

I vomited
her hungers.
Now the ***** is burning.

I am starved and curveless.
I am skin and bone.
She has learned her lesson.

Thin as a...Read More



by Boland, Eavan
 The oaks are stricken by a serious illness
They dry up after having let go
Into the glow of a sump at sunset
A whole throng of generals' heads...Read More

by Boland, Eavan
 After the wolves and before the elms
the bardic order ended in Ireland.

Only a few remained to continue
a dead art in a dying land:

This is a man
on the road from Youghal to Cahirmoyle.
He has no comfort, no food and no future.
He has no fire to recite his friendless measures by.
His riddles and flatteries will have no reward.
His patrons sheath their...Read More

by Boland, Eavan
 These are outsiders, always. These stars—
these iron inklings of an Irish January,
whose light happened
thousands of years before
our pain did; they are, they have always been
outside history.
They keep their distance. Under them remains
a place where you found
you were human, and
a landscape in which you know you are mortal.
And a time to choose between them.
I have chosen:
out of myth in history...Read More

by Boland, Eavan
 In the worst hour of the worst season
 of the worst year of a whole people
a man set out from the workhouse with his wife.
He was walking-they were both walking-north.

She was sick with famine fever and could not keep up.
 He lifted her and put her on his back.
He walked like that west and north.
Until at nightfall under freezing...Read More



by Boland, Eavan
 —and not simply by the fact that this shading of
forest cannot show the fragrance of balsam,
the gloom of cypresses,
is what I wish to prove.

When you and I were first in love we drove
to the borders of Connacht
and entered a wood there.

Look down you said: this was once a famine road.

I looked down at ivy and the scutch grass
rough-cast stone...Read More

by Boland, Eavan
 It was the first gift he ever gave her,
buying it for five five francs in the Galeries
in pre-war Paris. It was stifling.
A starless drought made the nights stormy.

They stayed in the city for the summer.
The met in cafes. She was always early.
He was late. That evening he was later.
They wrapped the fan. He looked at his watch.

She looked down...Read More

by Boland, Eavan
 This harbour was made by art and force.
And called Kingstown and afterwards Dun Laoghaire.
And holds the sea behind its barrier
less than five miles from my house.

Lord be with us say the makers of a nation.
Lord look down say the builders of a harbour.
They came and cut a shape out of ocean
and left stone to close around their labour.

Officers and...Read More

by Boland, Eavan
 Against the enormous rocks of a rough coast
The ocean rams itself in pitched assault
And spastic rage to which there is no halt;
Foam-white brigades collapse; but the huge host

Has infinite reserves; at each attack
The impassive cliffs look down in gray disdain
At scenes of sacrifice, unrelieved pain,
Figured in froth, aquamarine and black.

Something in the blood-chemistry of life,
Unspeakable, impressive, undeterred,
Expresses itself without...Read More

by Boland, Eavan
 Here is the city—
its worn-down mountains,
its grass and iron,
its smoky coast
seen from the high roads
on the Wicklow side.

From Dalkey Island
to the North Wall,
to the blue distance seizing its perimeter,
its old divisions are deep within it.

And in me also.
And always will be.

Out of my mouth they come:
The spurred and booted garrisons.
The men and women
they dispossessed.

What is a colony
if not the...Read More