13 April 2011

" The Necessity for Irony"

From an Irish Poet during National Poetry Month:

Another of my favorite poets is Eavan Boland, an Irish poet who writes about myth, history but also her life and the experiences we all have. She writes in a fresh way that makes things, nonetheless, familiar.

The Necessity for Irony

On Sundays,
when the rain held off,
after lunch or later,
I would go with my twelve year old
daughter into town
and put down the time
at junk sales, antique fairs.

There I would
lean over tables,
absorbed by lace, wooden frames,
glass. My daughter stood
at the other end of the room,
her flame colored hair
obvious whenever-
which was not often-

I turned around.
I turned around.
She was gone.
Grown. No longer ready
to come with me, whenever
a dry Sunday
held out it's promises
of small histories. Endings.

When I was young
I studied styles: their use
and origin. Which age
was known for which
ornament: and was always drawn
to a lyric speech, a civil tone.
But never thought
I would have the need,
as I do now, for a darker one:

Spirit of irony,
my caustic author
of the past, of memory,-
and of it's pain, which returns
hurts, stings-reproach me now,
remind me
that I was in those rooms,
with my child,
with my back turned to her,
searching- oh irony!-
for beautiful things.

Eavan Boland
From The Lost Land

This reminds me to cherish each moment of now less I search for beautiful things and miss what's most important in my life.

Dedicated to my daughter.


  1. A very beautiful post, with a poignant message. Thank you.

  2. This is a great message to remember and to ponder. How sad, but true, that we go through life missing much of it simply by being unaware of the value of the moment.

  3. So touching! We must all be in the same mood these days, winter passing, new life sprouting all around us.

  4. DJan, Your welcome.
    Sally, Reminders help to jolt us back.
    Rosaria, It's true, of all her poems, I chose this which matched my mood.

  5. Man! Is this easy to relate to! Beautifully said, too.
    Thanks, Mary!

  6. Krissa, Is that bad that we know just what's she saying?

  7. I was about to say that I wished someone had told me how quickly they would be gone. But someone did, and I didn't believe it.


Let's chat.