About the Author
- Questions of indentity - as an Irish woman, mother poet and exile-give rise to much of herpoetry
- she is recognised as one of the foremost female voices of Irish literature
- When her family relocated to London she first encountered anti-Irish sentiment
- Her early work is informed by her expeiences as a young wife and mother, and her gorwing awareness of the troubled role of women in Irish history and culture
- Irish myth and history have remained important sources of inspiration ,her poems offering fresh perspectives on traditional themes
The poem / first two lines
- Can be compared to Seamus Heaney 's poem 'Out of the Bag' as both poems are about what can be passed on
- Through her poem ' Inheritance Boland explores the difference between history and the past
- she incoporates geneartions of women, political /historical and feminist ideas
First two lines
- 'I have been wondering' - passing on /personal intimate reflection thoughtfullness / legacy introverted /places
- ' what i have to leave behind ,to give to my daughters' - matriarchical line
Next four lines - verse two and three
- 'No good offering the view' - futillity - beauty of landscape
- 'between here and Three Rock Mountain' - human features outside Dublin
- 'The ground I stood on was never really mine' - idea that it cannot be owned also idea of British lands ( the Troubles)
- 'It might not ever be theirs.'
In the third
- 'And gifts that were passed through generations -' - luxury
- 'silver and the fluid light left after silk-never given here.' - no sense of ownership
- language /reference
- 'This is an island of waters, inland distances, with a history of want and wmomen who struggled' - poverty , maybe it hit women the hardest throughout history
- 'to make the nothing which was all they had into something they could leave behind.' - emigration , lost indentiy, forgot , culture wiped away
- 'I learned so little from them : the lace bobbin with its braided mesh, its oat-straw pillow and hte wheat-coloured shawl kitted in one season' -crasts exist
- looking back details of tradition - handcrafts not her sense of crafts she feels they are no longer relevant in a suburbun environment
break between verse - enjambement
Fifth Verse and Sixth verse
- 'are all crafts I never had' - where is her identity as a modern woman ?
- 'and can never hand on.But.. '- cesura herelds change
- 'awake ,alert and afraid' - alliteration
- 'who turned and turned ;sick ,freful.' - faltering sound
- 'When dawn came I held my hand over the absence of fever,' - healing
- 'ove skin which had stopped burning as if I knew the secrets ' -searching to connection to mothers throughout generations
- ' as if i understood them' - search for inheritance
- 'and listened to the silence'
- and though, I must have laarned that somewhere.'
- positive end to poem- she realises she can pass on what she has learnt
- not tangiable but still valuable
asks question - what is there in Irish culture for women?