Anorexic by Eavan Boland

I am not a huge fan of poetry and I do not really know why. I guess I tend to read novels since I still have to find crime-fiction- poems. Or maybe I should write some myself. Anyway, I have this professor who loves poetry and every time I attend her lessons I wonder why I find it so hard to read poetry when it is so inspiring. Yesterday, we analyzed this poem with her and I fell instantly in love with it. I do not want to write the analysis here, but just its context so that you interpret it yourself and see what it means to you. Eavan Boland writes in 1980’s Catholic Ireland where women’s bodies were silenced. Here it is:

ANOREXIC (Eavan Boland)

Flesh is heretic.
My body is a witch.
I am burning it.

Yes I am torching
ber curves and paps and wiles.
They scorch in my self denials.

How she meshed my head
in the half-truths
of her fevers

till I renounced
milk and honey
and the taste of lunch.

I vomited
her hungers.
Now the bitch is burning.

I am starved and curveless.
I am skin and bone.
She has learned her lesson.

Thin as a rib
I turn in sleep.
My dreams probe

a claustrophobia
a sensuous enclosure.
How warm it was and wide

once by a warm drum,
once by the song of his breath
and in his sleeping side.

Only a little more,
only a few more days
sinless, foodless,

I will slip
back into him again
as if I had never been away.

Caged so
I will grow
angular and holy

past pain,
keeping his heart
such company

as will make me forget
in a small space
the fall

into forked dark,
into python needs
heaving to hips and breasts
and lips and heat
and sweat and fat and greed.


Borrowed from Elite Skills

Irish Detective Fiction – Alrene Hunt

I am a big fan of crime/detective novels. Sometimes, after a hard day at school, all I want is to relax… with a crime. Depending on my tiredness, I either pick up a TV show or a book. But, when picking up a book. How to distinguish good, complex fiction from trashy best-sellers? I rely a lot on other bloggers (big thank you) and on the Internet in general. But, until now there was a gap in my shelves: Irish crime novels written by a woman. Let’s say, I was searching for the Irish Kate Atkinson or P.D James.

I came across this article last week and I was half in awe, half astonished. There are three women in a list of ten writers. Maybe there are not as many published detective fiction writers out there (as Amanda pointed out); anyways, I was in awe with one of them: Arlene Hunt. I googled all her novels and they all appeal to me although I must admit that the crimes depicted seem… too violent.

You can visit Arlene’s website and browse through all her books. It is very easy to navigate through the Books section and they are spoiler-free. She has published seven novels, six of which belong to the John and Sarah series, because any worthy detective-writer out there, she has a trademark investigator.

I haven’t read any of Arlene’s books but I can’t wait. I love Ireland, Dublin is my favourite place in the whole world and I plan on living there one day and enjoying the fantstic Irish culture and, despite what many say, weather. Her crimes depict modern problems in our society, not only in Ireland, and, the fact that she created a man and a woman for her series, reminds me of my beloved Bones. I am sure there is much of the Irish culture (and Irish English) inscribed in her works.

Although many consider Ireland still part of the UK in terms of literature, I think this fiction deserves much more attention than what it gets. I also plan on reading Scottish detective fiction, but I’ll leave that for another post.

If you know any Welsh/Irish or Scottish woman writing detective fiction, please, let me know!