A Journey with Two Maps by Eavan Boland

A Journey with Two Maps

"This is a book of being and becoming. It is about being a poet. It is also about the long process of becoming one," writes Eavan Boland. These inspiring essays are both critical and deeply personal, allowing the adventure, passion, and struggle of becoming a woman poet to be viewed from different perspectives. Boland traces her own experiences as a woman, wife, and mother and their effects on her poetry. In the opening essay, she explores the st...

Details A Journey with Two Maps

TitleA Journey with Two Maps
Release DateApr 11th, 2011
PublisherW. W. Norton Company
GenrePoetry, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Language, Writing, Essays

Reviews A Journey with Two Maps

  • Jee Koh
    This collection of essays forms an interesting companion to this Irish woman poet's body of poetry. Again and again Boland returns to her memory of being a young wife and mother in a new suburb outside of Dublin in the 1970s, when violence in the North unsettled life in the South. "Domestic Violence," which ends the first section of biographical essays, records especially succinctly Boland's forceful attempt to subvert the received poetic traditi...
  • Molly
    It felt good to read this book, as if I were in good company. I wish I had maintained my leisurely pace, but instead of reading an essay a random evening, I had a marathon at the end, trying to prepare for a reading schedule I've set out for myself this fall, and thus, the redundancies (feeling alone as a female Irish poet, difficulties finding American poets' work in bookshops, etc.) wore on me rather than helped me maintain a thread. I'd recomm...
  • Janice Wilson Stridick
    Rich, intelligent discussion of the many dichotomies we all face, but especially women who wish to create work of depth and value. Many times I found lines to keep, savor, that sum up quandaries I've mulled over -- Boland provides a welcome perspective. She sheds much light on female authority and how to win it, winnow it, savor it. I loved reading these essays, and recommend them highly.
  • Elizabeth Shafer
    A subtle and insightful description of Boland's personal and poetic conflicts in her long journey caught between historical patriarchal traditions and her lyric feminist voice as she was influenced by women poets, and her recognition that both 'maps' inform her work and are essential to it.
  • Antonio Delgado
    Colonization is a territorial force imposed to individuals but also to a particular gender. In poetry, its impact has been ignored. Boland’s text is not only about rescuing the female poet but also creating the female poetry. She writes like an architect, quite aware of the importance of the foundation her words are building up for many generations to come.
  • Shawn
    I feel enchanted by this book. The spell has the characteristics of great upper division or grad school classes I've taken where I feel completely in sync with the themes and am inspired by the material, and a sense that I am intoxicated as I begin to apprehend Boland's aesthetic.I don't know much of any of the poetry Boland examines in these essays. I know about some of the poets, but am really underprepared for the specifics of any interpretati...
  • Emma Lawson
    Eavan Boland is an amazing poet. And there are some interesting insights here but there's also repetition and an insistence on the personal which doesn't expand out into anything that I can get hold of. The reclaiming of the personal, and the domestic, as valid poetic subjects is an important point. But I didn't really feel it evolved through the book. I've probably missed something here. After all, collections like In A Time Of Violence are trul...
  • Vhicy
    Enjoyed the book; related more to the criticism essays of other woman poets rather than the first part of the book, which described the writer's youth in Ireland. Appreciated the argument about bombastic Romantics overshadowing our own 'less compelling' lives and narratives, and was encouraged by the writer's urging to make our (woman) experiences worthy of poetry, as well.
  • Jesi
    I have SUCH an intensely visceral response to Eavan Boland's prose. Her style and her preoccupations resonate with me so strongly that I always end up writing out pages and pages of her books by hand, just to feel closer to those flawless, flawless sentences. God, what a writer.
  • Lanora
    There are two parts to this book. One is a memoir of Eavan Boland's journey to becoming a poet. The other is an re-evaluation of a variety of women poets. Both are fascinating reads and made me nostalgic for the luxury of being a student of literature.
  • Alisa Books and Sequins
    I was fascinated by how she unearthed her own development as a poet, and I loved how she wrote with so much feeling about the books and poets that meant so much to her. Plus she is just a beautiful writer and many of her sentences and turns of phrase are simply pure pleasure to read.
  • Kathryn
    Boland is brilliant, and she has a wonderful way of mixing the personal, the political, and the literary into a coherent theory, but I wasn't able to connect emotionally with her essays in the way that I was hoping to.
  • Antonia
    I expected to like this better than I did. Kept feeling as though I should like it better. Like new hardcover. Will send to the first person who asks.
  • Marcela
    A must read for any aspiring poet.
  • secondwomn
    some good stuff in here. the essays are written quite plainly, they nearly seem like blog entries. i get cranky with essay collections that aren't edited to account for repetitions, i have to admit.