Eavan Boland

Love” deals with the sadness at the loss of a connection and the inability of language to recapture that feeling adequately. In this poem, Eavan Boland reminisces on her early relationship with her husband as she would recall a mythical tale. As she recollects the past, she turns it into the present - experiencing it once more. The dominant emotions are that of nostalgia and longing. Struck by a vivid memory, Boland speaks of the hugely dramatic and difficult time her family spent in Iowa:
“We had two infant children one of whom was touched by death in this town and spared”
However, in this time of anxiety and despair, she and her husband discovered the depth of their love for each other and their connection was at its most intense. Their devotion was almost a palpable and physical thing – it was both tender and strong and
“had the feather and muscle of wings and had come to live with us”
This was a golden period in their relationship, but in six short sentences Boland gives us a sense of her continuing life.
“I am your wife.It was years ago.Our child was healed. We love each other still.Across our day-to-day and ordinary distanceswe speak plainly. We hear each other clearly.”
The marriage has undoubtedly changed. They still love each other, they still communicate with each other and they still hear each other but their relationship has lost its passion and intensity. The ordinary is nonetheless wonderful but Boland desires the extraordinary. She longs to communicate with her young husband and recapture the magic of that complex period of their lives. She longs to cry out the epic question:
“Will we ever live so intensely again?”
However, she knows that this is an impossible longing. She cannot find the words to capture her thoughts and feelings and she cannot share her untold emotions with her husband, whom she sees as:
“a hero in a text”
No matter how vivid her memory, she cannot communicate with it. She can simply remember it and return to...