Winter 1994 • Vol. XVI No. 1 Poetry |

What Language Did

The evening was the same as any other. I came out and stood on the step. The suburb was closed in the weather of an early spring and the shallow tips and washed-out yellows of narcissi resisted dusk. And crocuses and snowdrops. I stood there and felt the melancholy of growing older in such a season, when all I could be certain of was simply in this time of fragrance and refrain, whatever else might flower before the fruit, and be renewed, I would not. Not again. A car splashed by in the twilight. Peat smoke stayed in the windless air overhead and I might have missed it: A presence. Suddenly. In the very place where I would stand in other dusks, and look to pick out my child from the distance, was a shepherdess, her smile cracked, her arm injured from the mantelpieces and pastorals where she posed with her crook. Then I turned and saw in the spaces of the night sky constellations appear, one by one, over rooftops and houses, and Cassiopeia trapped: stab

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Eavan Boland has published ten volumes of poetry, the most recent being New Collected Poems (2008), Domestic Violence (2007), and An Origin Like Water: Collected Poems 1967-87 (1996) with W.W. Norton. She has received the Lannan Award for Poetry and an American Ireland Fund Literary Award.

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To Memory

By Eavan Boland

The evening was the same as any other. I came out and stood on the step. The suburb was closed in the weather of an early spring and the shallow […]

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