White Hawthorn of the West of Ireland by Eavan Boland

Nicole Alexander
English 150
Wednesday 27 November 2013, 6 p.m. section

Selected Text

All I wanted then was to fill my arms with
sharp flowers,
to seem, from a distance, to be part of
that ivory, downhill rush. But I knew,

I had always known
the custom was
not to touch hawthorn.
Not to bring it indoors for the sake of

the luck
such constraint would forfeit —
a child might die, perhaps, or an unexplained
fever speckle heifers. So I left it

About the Author

She was born in Dublin in 1944 but as a child moved around to London and New York, but eventually returned to Dublin. When she was married in 1969 she moved to a suburb of Dublin, Dundrum (perhaps this is the journey from the poem). Her poems are mostly about the views of a woman about motherhood and family and Irish myth and history.

I don't write a poem to express an experience. I write it to experience the experience. -Eavan Boland

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