Eavan Boland and Louise Erdrich are authors who write from very different cultures. Boland’s poetry explores Irish history while Erdrich’s traverses Native American culture and the Catholic religion. This polarity, however, is not so crucial when compared to the two poets’ striking similarities in voice and in subject. As women writers aligned with feminism, both Boland and Erdrich seek to express the female perspective and reverse centuries of women’s silence, and even more strikingly, they use the same medium to do so. Mythology is their instrument of choice, with Boland exploring Celtic folklore and Erdrich Native American legend. But these poets do more than explore; they reinterpret and rewrite. Challenging androcentric myths, Boland and Erdrich give the legends of their respective cultures a female voice, thereby creating a new, female mythology. Furthermore, the similarities in their mythological poems speak to the idea of a shared female consciousness. Nevertheless, while the themes, tone, and images parallel one another, their mythological poems do not always end similarly. Erdrich seems to accomplish the liberation of women within her final stanzas, but Boland ends her poetry without freeing her woman-speaker from despair.
Taylor, Colleen FCRH '12
"Writing Women’s Mythology: The Poetry of Eavan Boland and Louise Erdrich,"
The Fordham Undergraduate Research Journal: Vol. 1
, Article 8.
Available at: http://fordham.bepress.com/furj/vol1/iss1/8