The Black Lace Fan My Mother Gave Me Eavan Boland (Key theme is the nature…
The Black Lace Fan My Mother Gave Me Eavan Boland
Key theme is the nature of Boland's parents relationship & love.
Inspired by a black lace fan given to Boland by her mother.
Fan had originally been given as a gift to her mother by the man who later became her husband.
Fan was a special symbol of young love & was important because it was the first gift from her father to her mother.
Other details like the precise cost & stifling weather add to the importance of the occasion.
Eventhough the setting is romantic, the mood is tense.
Almost as if Boland is flicking through a photo album.
Stanzas 2&3, the short sentences & growing unevenness of rhythm add to the cinematic quality.
Boland builds up the tension through references to heatwave.
This might suggest the stormy nature of what lay ahead.
"The heat was killing. She thought the distance smelled of rain and lightening."
Stanzas 4&5, focus on the elegant lace fan in vivid detail.
Boland notes its decorative qualities & is fascinated by the craft that went into it.
The appreciation diminishes when she realises that the tortoise shell suffers violation at the expense of the gift.
Tone is suddenly downcast & puts a shadow over parents relationship.
Stanza 6, poet returns to Romantic Paris but admits that she will never know what happened that evening so she must improvise.
Fan is only a small part of the story.
"no way to know what happened then"
"unless, of course, you improvise"
Striking image of blackbird dominates final stanza.
Poet returns to present & observes bird.
It is vibrant & alive, like her parents love.
"Suddenly she puts out her wing"