A sort of remembered loneliness

Occasionally I see myself, or the ghost of myself, in the places where I first became a poet. On the pavement just around Stephen’s Green for instance, with its wet trees and sharp railings. What I see is not an actual figure, but a sort of remembered loneliness. The poets I knew were not women: the women I knew were not poets. The conversations I had, or wanted to have, were never complete.

Sometimes I think of how time might become magical: How I might get out of the car even now and cross the road and stop that young woman and surprise her with the complete conversation she hardly knew she missed. How I might stand there with her in the dusk, the way neighbours stand on their front steps before they go in to their respective houses for the night: half-talking and half-leaving.

– Eavan Boland (who’s an extraordinary poet, and editor of poetry), from the “Letter to a Young Woman Poet” (link), via peony moon.

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2 thoughts on “A sort of remembered loneliness

  1. This reminds me so much of The Child. She’s so different from her peers and I know she feels lonely as a result, but it is that difference that’s going to be such a help to her in the future.

    I keep trying to explain to her that as she grows older she’ll find more people like herself and there will plenty of people to share ideas with — but who at 14 believes they aren’t the only one of their kind?

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