As my exams draw closer and closer, I find myself staring closer and closer at the contents of the various textbooks that lay strewn around my room. One of these textbooks is a particularly hefty anthology of poets and poems that I’m to know for one of my English exams.
While I’ve never been a fan of poetry, I’ve found myself growing fond of this motley collection of verses. Naturally, many more in my year have had the opposite reaction. After all, how long can you spend reading, dissecting and interpreting the same works before either reaction takes hold?
Of all the poets that I’ve studied for my course, Emily Dickinson is by far my favourite. So much so that I’ve accidentally memorised the poems of hers that we’ve been reading. There is something about both her style and themes that I find so elegant and simple, that I just can’t resist.
But, I’m not writing this post to talk about Dickinson. Instead, I wish to tell you about another poet, whose works we’ve been studying: Eavan Boland. A poet of Irish birth and a Trinity college graduate, Eavan Boland has been a respected and well-regarded poet for several decades now. Not that that mattered to a bunch of snarky teenagers – or the snarky teacher for that matter.
No, the thing that mattered most to the class about Eavan Boland – for about five minutes anyway -was that she has Feminist leanings. The horror! But, I’m not writing to give you a treatise on the Feminist themes of some of Boland’s poetry. I’m writing to present to you one of Boland’s poems. A poem that I personally found to be rich in its utter simplicity.
I do not presume that you have not heard of Boland or read her poetry – I’m aware that many of you on this site are of a poetic bent – but I certainly hope that you enjoy it if you haven’t.
Things are getting ready
out of sight.
Stars and moths.
And rinds slanting around fruit.
But not yet.
One tree is black.
One window is yellow as butter.
A woman leans down to catch a child
who has run into her arms
Apples sweeten in the dark.