Common Themes In Boland'S Work

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Common Themes in Boland’s Poetry In my opinion, above all else, Boland is a poet of empathy. Her compassion goes out to many aspects of life, but the most common of these aspects is for women. The main themes that Boland deals with in her poetry are the role of women in society, passing of time, history and oppression. The Role of Women in Society In her poems “The Shadow Doll”. “Child of Our Time” and “The Famine Road” we are able to see Boland’s view on what is expected of women. In “Child of Our Time” Boland creates “a lullaby” for a deceased child. She draws this inspiration from the impact the death of the child had on her. We see Boland in this poem as a maternal figure. “The Famine Road” deals more with what is expected of women rather than what they aspire to. Boland dedicates half the poem to a woman who is unable to have a child. From the impact, this revelation the doctor had made, on the woman, we see that it is expected of women to have children. She appears to be asking why this has happened, is there anything to be done about it? Only to be given nonchalant answers by the doctor. We see the pressure the woman will face because of her “barrenness”. In “The Shadow Doll” by Boland, we see what is expected of a girl during Victorian times. She is given a “porcelain” doll, modeling what will be her wedding dress. As the girl prepares for her wedding the next day, we see her “astray among the cards and wedding gifts- the coffee pots and clocks”. The fact that she seems to feel lost, tells us that she does not particularly want to get married, it is just expected of her to marry. From Boland’s regretful and antagonistic tones while speaking through these poems, it is clear she opposes what is expected of women. Passing of Time As in her poems “The War Horse”, “Child of Our Time”, “The Famine Road” and “The Pomegranate”, a

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