White Hawthorn of the West of Irelandby Eavan Boland
Wednesday 27 November 2013, 6 p.m. section
All I wanted then was to fill my arms with
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
such constraint would forfeit —
a child might die, perhaps, or an unexplained
fever speckle heifers. So I left it
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
child might diethe superstitious, forces of nature