Identity in the Works of Eavan Boland and Seamus Heaney

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Identity in the Works of Eavan Boland and Seamus Heaney Many times poetry is reflective of the author’s past as well as their personal struggles. One struggle that poets write about is of identity and the creation, as well as loss, of individual identities. Using a passage from the essay Lava Cameo by Eavan Boland, I will show how two poets use their craft to describe their struggle with identity. Eavan Boland and Seamus Heaney both write poems which express an internal struggle with roles of identity and how they recreate their roles to fit their needs. Through retrospection and reflection, both poets come to realize that the roles they led as well as those they reinvented have created their own personal identities. Boland, in her …show more content…

She states, “…I found my poetry and my sexuality on a collision course.” Poetry like any art form is said to either dictate life or life is to dictate it, which she makes reference to with “…the active lens of poetry.” With that understanding she made connections between the traditions of the real world and those of the fictitious worlds created in poetry. Men created the traditions and customs associated with poetry. These traditions have objectified women and placed them as the primary focus of much of poetry, often times in a subordinate manner. Boland states that in poetry women were used as “…metaphors and invocations, similes and muses.” Boland’s experiences as a woman do not fit into the traditional poems that men had written. Due to this, she felt an internal struggle when trying to master her craft between her role as a woman and the role of women observed in traditional poetry. Boland would practice her craft and write line after line expressing her mind as a human being. In the end however, she found it inescapable that her life as a woman would become the ultimate object of the poetry. She found that as much as she tried to express her perceptions in her poetry she could not find an identity independent of a man’s identity. Poetry as a craft was molded in the perceptions of men. Women lacked an identity, without which the female perceptions are unidentifiable. The craft of .

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