Monday, May 4, 2020

Remembering Eavan Boland, Grace Hopper

     Irish poet Eavan Boland (1944-2020) died last week and news of her death has caused me to look back and remember.  In this year in which the US celebrates 100 years of women's suffrage, I am reminded of this poem in the Irish Times in which Boland celebrated 100 years of Irish women's suffrage, a poem entitled "Our future will become the past of other women."  Here is a brief excerpt from that poem:
                         A hundred years ago a woman’s vote
                         Becoming law became the right
                         Of Irish women. We remember them
                         As we celebrate this freedom.

One of my favorite of Boland's poems is her tribute to another master of language, Grace Murray Hopper (1906-1988) -- Hopper was a computer pioneer and a navy rear admiral.  Here is the opening stanza of Boland's poem:

Boland's complete poem is available here.

I had the good fortune to meet Grace Murray Hopper when she visited Bloomsburg University in 1984 to receive an honorary Doctor of Science Degree.  Hopper was imaginative and articulate and bold; here is some poetry found in her words.
                                        If it's a 
                                        good idea,
                                        do it.  

               It's much easier

               to apologize
               than it is
               to get permission.

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