Now I am a Tower of Darkness: A Critical History of Poetry by Women in Ireland, by Emma Penney (IADT, University College, Dublin and Trinity College, Dublin)
Now I am a Tower of Darkness: A Critical History of Poetry by Women in Ireland challenges the critical reception of Eavan Boland and the restrictive criteria, developed in the 1970s, under which poetry by women in Ireland has been assessed. She considers the subversive nature of women’s poetry written between 1921 and 1950, and calls into question the critical assumption that Eavan Boland represents “the first serious attempt in Ireland to make a body of poems that arise out of the contemporary female consciousness”. In Object Lessons, Boland concluded that there were no women poets before her who communicated “an expressed poetic life” in their work. Emma’s thesis reveals how this view has permeated the critical landscape of women’s poetry, facilitating an absurd privation of the history of poetry by women in Ireland and simplifying it in the process.
Excerpted on http://poethead.wordpress.com
Poems: 'Now I am a Tower of Darkness", "The Woman With Child", 'The Welcome" by Freda Laughton