Boland’s reflection on relationships is one of my favourite aspects of her poetry. In the poem “Love”, Boland chronicles the deep elemental love between her and her husband, Kevin. This poem is incredibly personal: “I am your wife” “I see you as a hero in a text” “We love each other”. This poem really has an impact on me. When I read it, I really couldn’t get over its power. Boland really emphasises the deep, elemental and transcendent love between them: “It offered us ascension”. I find these lines incredibly powerful. In “Object Lessons” Boland says “when you write about love, you begin by writing about people and end up writing about time”. The poems beauty in my view is augmented by how Boland blends tenses in this poem. She uses the present “Dark Boland’s best. Also in “The Pomegranete”, Boland shares another deeply personal relationship, the story of “a daughter”. However, what I really love in this poem is how Boland takes a personal relationship and lends it universal relevance by employing icons of youth culture “her can of coke”, “teen magazines”.

W.H. Auden once praised Adrienne Rich for poems that “speak quietly but do not mumble”. However, in my view, this quote would be truer of Boland’s work. I just love how Boland writes poetry with a political flavour. I think “The War Horse” is a prime example of this trait. In this dual-narrative, Boland charts the journey of a horse which escaped “from the tinker camp on the Enniskerry Road” However, I am led to believe the underlying current in this poem is a reflection on the apathy and almost disinterest of people in the Republic to the “Troubles” in the North. “Neighbourhoods use the subterfuge of curtains”, “only a leaf of our laurel hedge is torn”. This is one of the key aspects of Boland’s poetry for me. Boland writes poems that speak, speak without shouting.

Boland’s voice really makes me listen. The message in “The Famine Road” really interests and horrifies me. Although there has been a myriad...