Cover image for The lost land : poems
The lost land : poems
Boland, Eavan.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, [1998]

Physical Description:
67 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR6052.O35 L67 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In The Lost Land, Eavan Boland "is intensely engaged with the ancient bardic lineage of her homeland, giving her poems an ineluctable moral gravity. . . . Her poems offer a curative gift of merciful vision to a country blinded by its own blood and pain, as her narrators wait more or less patiently in their 'difficult knowledge' for the healing of their country's wounds" (San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle).

Author Notes

Eavan Boland, author of, most recently, "The Lost Land", is professor of English at Stanford University.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In this haunting fictional debut, Chang presents a novella and five short stories limning the immigrant experience. In "Hunger," a young Chinese couple meet and marry, and when the husband fails to live up to his overweening ambition to become a professional violinist, he passes on a terrible legacy to his daughters. As his wife listens to him continually berate their musical prowess, she realizes that his hunger has brought their family nothing but sadness and pain. Each of the succeeding stories picks up this theme of familial loss: a father addicted to gambling tutors his daughter in mathematics and then deserts the family for the lure of the dice; a Chinese immigrant couple moves to Iowa and systematically discards all evidence of their culture and previous life. In spare, evocative prose, Chang meticulously details the burdens imposed by family bonds and the cultural confusion of immigrants. (Reviewed October 15, 1998)039304663XJoanne Wilkinson

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this, her ninth book of poems, Boland continues to pursue the themes she has made her own, nicely summarized in the last line of the title poem: "Ireland. Absence. Daughter." As a woman writing in and about a history-obsessed literary tradition, Boland is interested in forging a new voice and a new role: she is a patriot but not a militant, deeply Irish but living abroad, a poet but also a mother and daughter. (Her essay collection, Object Lessons, touches on similar themes.) The passion in this volume is unmistakable, and it is the passion to witness: "I am your citizen: composed of/ your fictions, your compromise, I am/ a part of your story and its outcome./ And ready to record its contradictions." She accomplishes this recording by insistently connecting large words‘"nation," "history," "colony," "sacrifice"‘with human stories, as in "Unheroic," where "when I do/ go back to difficult knowledge it is not/ to... those men raised/ high above the certainties they stood on‘/ Ireland hero history," but to an actual person, a solitary "quiet man" whose mysterious illness or wound "would not heal." The danger of this sort of writing is that the moral passion and commitment overshadow artistic concerns‘and, indeed, some of these poems are too willful to be as enigmatic or delicate as they portend. But Boland is above all a writer of modern myths, and in that endeavor she continues to assemble "the lingua franca of a lost land." (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The recipient of numerous writing fellowships, Chang displays her talent clearly in this debut collection of six stories. The moving title novella tells the story of Chinese immigrant parents and their struggle to make a life for themselves and their two American-born daughters. With the exception of "The Unforgetting," each story is told from the first-person perspective of one character. Chang's stories are insightful and carry universal themes, giving readers a sense of a mother's love, a sister's jealousy, or a child's resentment. As an Asian American writer, Chang also examines themes relevant to the Chinese American (Mandarin-speaking) experience. All of the pieces in this collection are likely to pluck at the heartstrings. Essential for libraries with Asian American fiction collections and a nice addition for most larger collections.Shirley N. Quan, Orange Cty. P.L., Stanton, CA(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1. My Country in Darknessp. 15
2. The Harbourp. 16
3. Witnessp. 18
4. Daughters of Colonyp. 19
5. Imagop. 21
6. The Scarp. 22
7. City of Shadowsp. 24
8. Unheroicp. 26
9. The Colonistsp. 28
10. A Dream of Colonyp. 30
11. A Habitable Griefp. 32
12. The Mother Tonguep. 33
The Lost Land
Homep. 37
The Lost Landp. 40
Mother Irelandp. 42
The Blossomp. 44
Daughterp. 46
I. The Season
II. The Loss
III. The Bargain
Ceres Looks at the Morningp. 49
Tree of Lifep. 50
Escapep. 51
Dublin, 1959p. 54
Watching Old Movies When They Were Newp. 55
Happinessp. 57
Heroicp. 58
The Last Disciplinep. 59
The Proof That Plato Was Wrongp. 61
The Necessity for Ironyp. 63
Formal Feelingp. 65
Whose?p. 67