Architectural metaphors
Representations of the house in the poetry of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Vona Groarke
in Irish literature since 1990

This chapter examines the representation of the house by two contemporary women poets, arguing that the relationship between the speaking subject and the space of dwelling and of writing is a complex and contingent one. By examining poems from collections byEiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Vona Groarke published since the early 1990s, the differing responses that the established poet and the younger writer have to concepts of house and home can be developed. Both Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Vona Groarke explore important dimensions of their observing and writing selves by means of the fascinating matrix of images. Though Ní Chuilleanáin. uses personal material obliquely in her poetry, links between private and public concerns afford her opportunities to explore important cultural issues through the shaping of individual perspectives. For a poet orientated towards home and family it is inevitable that Vona Groarke should explore the home as a specifically creative space.

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