Naru's Happy Travel
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.2004.22.143
신화에서 역사로: 예이츠와 이반 볼란드 시에서의 여성*
건국대
Out of Myth into History: Women in W. B. Yeats and Eavan Boland
,

Abstract
It has been argued that poetry is male dominated field. As Pound would quote to H. D., ‘You are a poem though your poem's nought,’ woman has often been assigned as an image for poems, not as the creative subject; as the object to be written about not as the subject who writes. In short, it has been a burden for a woman to write poetry in male dominated literary tradition. And some women on writing their emotion or thought in poetry have to follow the language usage dictated by men, not by themselves. So it is that women poets choose their way of writing poetry in following the traditional male conventions or in subverting the male conventions within the tradition. Specifically in Ireland, a country of fraternal orders, woman has been a muse for poets or a tricky mouthpiece: it would not be capricious to argue that the most estimable woman in modern Irish poetry was Maud Gonne or Crazy Jane from Yeats, who has continually influenced the generations of Irish poets that have followed him. The women in his poetic works sometimes ‘talked of poetry,’ as in “Adams's Curse,” but that discourse is a one-sided one, not for or on the women's active participation in writing poetry. And the women in his works are the medium for Yeats to express his cultural patriotism as well as his love for women, including Maud Gonne. He is a sort of propagandist expressing the patriotic notion through the mythic women who control men such as Queen Maeve or idealized women who have been caring for men or worshipped by men. His women are the mythified ones demanding the death of their lovers. They are not the real women living every day life and having their own desire to express themselves. His crazy Jane is also another type of mythic power: she is, so to speak, a witch who opposes the bishop and calls down midnight curses on the forces of organized society. Crazy Jane is Yeats's Other, a strategy for expressing forbidden marginal materials and is ‘outside history.’
The generation that followed Yeats has an influence from him that could be overpowering, and this generation should be conscious of the Irish literary condition. Within that tradition, Eavan Boland argues, women are facing the dual stresses as an Irish poet and as a woman poet -‘two identities.’ She sensed the change that “women have moved from being the subjects and objects of Irish poems to being the authors of them.” And the women Boland depicts in her works are the real ones, and their fear, pleasure, fulfilment, regrets, dangers, and so on are conveyed within the Irish scene. In these materials, she integrates the personal and national claims in some poems. So she raises a question about her own place as a poet: who is the poet, and what does she or he nominate as a proper theme for poetry. In the Irish cultural convention woman has been regarded as a land, subjected to English colonialism, restricted, and marginalised. It resulted in women being placed as idealized, simplified, passive images in poetry. Boland tries to restore female identity in terms of a true human identity. How that construct itself was to limit Boland in her works. However, this is not the traditional way but the subversive discourse on women, a way toward the powerlessness of an experience through the power of expressing it. In this way, she recreates women's experiences as living history.

 



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