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.
Blending autobiography with argument, Boland, a well-known poet in Ireland, addresses the challenge of reconciling her identity as a woman and mother writing in suburbia with the male-oriented political tradition of Irish poetry. Beginning with recollections of her earlier life in Ireland and her grandmother, Boland attempts to explain the woman poet's conflict with assuming the role of creator after having been traditionally treated as an object in Irish poetry. The author, most recently of the acclaimed poetry collection In a Time of Violence (LJ 3/1/94), structures her latest book like a poem, presenting an argument, leaving it, and then returning to it again. This method is well suited to her self-conscious exploration of the duality between woman and poet. Complex and thought-provoking, this title will appeal to readers interested in the craft of poetry and woman's role as artist.-Nancy R. Ives, Geneseo Univ., N.Y.