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The Black Lace Fan My Mother Gave Me Analysis



Author: Poetry of Eavan Boland Type: Poetry Views: 718

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It was the first gift he ever gave her,

buying it for five five francs in the Galeries

in pre-war Paris. It was stifling.

A starless drought made the nights stormy.They stayed in the city for the summer.

The met in cafes. She was always early.

He was late. That evening he was later.

They wrapped the fan. He looked at his watch.She looked down the Boulevard des Capucines.

She ordered more coffee. She stood up.

The streets were emptying. The heat was killing.

She thought the distance smelled of rain and lightning.These are wild roses, appliqued on silk by hand,

darkly picked, stitched boldly, quickly.

The rest is tortoiseshell and has the reticent clear patienceof its element. It is

a worn-out, underwater bullion and it keeps,

even now, an inference of its violation.

The lace is overcast as if the weatherit opened for and offset had entered it.The past is an empty cafe terrace.

An airless dusk before thunder. A man running.

And no way to know what happened then-

none at all-unless ,of course, you improvise:The blackbird on this first sultry morning,

in summer, finding buds, worms, fruit,

feels the heat. Suddenly she puts out her wing-

the whole, full, flirtatious span of it.





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

Eavan Boland was an Irish poet. In the poem it suggests the man was later than he normally is. Where the man is running he is running away from the relationship. The last lines are a metaphor for the woman finally getting over the relation ship. It was not about Eavan\'s parents, it was a made up story because Eavan\'s mother gave her the fan that sh got at sale. It had no story so Eavan made one up.

| Posted on 2013-01-24 | by a guest


.: :.

The person who posted above is not completely right as far as I know. Especially about the ending. The woman\'s relationship with the man did not keep growing. In the poem it says that the cafe is empty and a man is running this refers to the mother being left in the cafe and the man running away from the risky relationship. The last stanza talks about a bird spreading it\'s wings I believe this means that the wman finally moved on and created a life for herself. I know for sure though that it does not mean her relationship sprung with the man and is still growing because he left her long ago.

| Posted on 2013-01-10 | by a guest


.: :.

• He appears to be a reference to the father and her appears to refer to the mother.
• First gift he ever gave her could be ambiguous at this point but later it becomes apparent that it probably refers to a more
• References to the galeries and pre war paris contextualise the poem
• Stifling, droughts and stormy nights suggest why he bought her the fan
• Recount the poets’ parents love affair. Met in cafes , she was early he was late (contrasts the two) . it maybe could highlight the rifts between the two.
• Second stanza is caesured. Creates a slower pace.
• Strengthened by the idea that he looks at this watch, she looked down the boulevard – metaphoric for their separate directions in life. Also being on separate stanzas creates a sense of distance between the two.
• ‘she thought the distance smelled of rain and lightning’ – use of pathetic fallacy to foreshadow a sombre mood
• ‘She ordered more coffee. She stood up.’ – Declaratives convey a mechanical aspect of her movement and actions. Highlights how there appears to be no love, perhaps it is nothing more than a physical attraction
• Strong imagery. Wild roses – roses have connotations of love, wild may suggest obsessiveness. ‘Darkly picked, stitched boldly, quickly’ uses aural imagery through the repeated ‘ck’ sound giving it a plosive quality. It may also highlight the fragile nature of their x - tortoise is patient and reticent,
what is the significance of the 5th stanza

| Posted on 2010-11-30 | by a guest


.: :.

• He appears to be a reference to the father and her appears to refer to the mother.
• First gift he ever gave her could be ambiguous at this point but later it becomes apparent that it probably refers to a more
• References to the galeries and pre war paris contextualise the poem
• Stifling, droughts and stormy nights suggest why he bought her the fan
• Recount the poets’ parents love affair. Met in cafes , she was early he was late (contrasts the two) . it maybe could highlight the rifts between the two.
• Second stanza is caesured. Creates a slower pace.
• Strengthened by the idea that he looks at this watch, she looked down the boulevard – metaphoric for their separate directions in life. Also being on separate stanzas creates a sense of distance between the two.
• ‘she thought the distance smelled of rain and lightning’ – use of pathetic fallacy to foreshadow a sombre mood
• ‘She ordered more coffee. She stood up.’ – Declaratives convey a mechanical aspect of her movement and actions. Highlights how there appears to be no love, perhaps it is nothing more than a physical attraction
• Strong imagery. Wild roses – roses have connotations of love, wild may suggest obsessiveness. ‘Darkly picked, stitched boldly, quickly’ uses aural imagery through the repeated ‘ck’ sound giving it a plosive quality. It may also highlight the fragile nature of their x - tortoise is patient and reticent,
what is the significance of the 5th stanza

| Posted on 2010-11-30 | by a guest


.: :.

'The approved guest', has given complete wrong information. As mentioned, the poet was Irish. And this poem deals with the the poet's view of her parents' marriage. It shows how they had their ups and downs 'She was always early. He was late', yet this was a realistic view of marriage as opposed to a romanticized view of it. Boland uses weather imagery to convey the tension between the young couple as she becomes frustrated waiting on her partner. Yet in the end, as symbolised by the blackbird, they are still together and very much in love.

| Posted on 2009-09-07 | by a guest


.: Inaccurate information :.

This explanation is completely wrong - the poet is Irish, not French. It is not about people having an affair, rather it's about a moment in her parents' lives.
This poet is considerably more complex than this "Approved Guest" has suggested; there are references to WWII, as it looms in the future. It swings between rich metaphors and simple prose narrative, which are stylistic choices of the poet.
The current analysis above should be removed as it is completely inaccurate.

| Posted on 2008-02-20 | by a guest


.: :.

The Black Lace Fan My Mother Gave Me, is a poem by a female French writer, Eavan Bolland. It tells of a joyous moment that happened in the mothers past, and the child is retelling it of only what she knows.
The mother is telling of, the first gift he gave her (1). Even though this gift was the first one he ever gave her Bolland is trying to imply that it is not the last and there are many more gifts to come. This man seems to be a special person, in which the mother adores. In the first stanza the speaker is giving the setting of the past to us. At first it seems really romantic in Paris but them goes on to tell that , it was stifling, a starless drought made the nights stormy (3-4) making the sense of romance fade.
The next stanza leads you to believe maybe this man and women are having an affair. She was always early, He was late (6-7), they were trying to be at the same place at different times so no one would suspect they were together. This on evening he was later than before. He was getting the fan wrapped, a gift he was going to give the women. As he looked at his watch (8), she looked down the Boulevard des Capucines (9). The woman is anticipating his arrival, but she does not leave and she orders more coffee. She wants this relationship to work. Bolland uses a metaphor in this sentence stating, The heat was killing (11). Yes, it was humid literally outside, but what she is trying to imply is the suspense of waiting for the man to arrive is killing her. Also she uses diction by saying, she thought the distance smelled of rain and lighting (12). What she smelled was trouble. She may have known this relationship was too risky and it may not work, as much as she wanted it too.
In the third stanza the speaker describes the fan as, wild roses, appliqud on silk by hand (13). Bolland is using this sentence as a comparison to their relationship. It is very fragile and delicate, yet it is wild and exciting.
In the sixth stanza the speaker is saying that no way to know what happened then (23). Since no one really knows what happened, except for the man and women, she has to improvise and fill in the gaps herself. The last stanza is back in the present and the child is telling of what she thinks happened. The blackbird on this first sultry morning (25), the blackbird is referring to the black fan and she uses sultry morning in opposite of stifling night. In summer, finding buds worms fruit (26), these are new things as if saying the man and womens relationship has just sprung and is still growing.

| Posted on 2006-05-07 | by Approved Guest




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