The Necessity for Irony Eavan Boland

Report
By Amber and Kay
 Ornament-
an accessory, article, or detail
used to beautify the appearance of
something
 Caustic- severely critical or sarcastic
 Reproach- to find fault with (a person,
group, etc.); blame; censure.
 On
Sundays,
when the rain held off,
after lunch or later,
I would go with my twelve year old
daughter into town,
and put down the time
at junk sales, antique fairs.
 There
I would
lean over tables,
absorbed by
lace, wooden frames,
glass. My daughter stood
at the other end of the
room,
her flame-coloured hair
obvious wheneverwhich was not often-
I
turned around.
I turned around.
She was gone.
 Grown.
No longer ready
to come with me, whenever
a dry Sunday
held out its promises
of small histories. Endings.
 When
I was young
I studied styles: their use
and origin. Which age
was known for which
ornament: and was always drawn
to a lyric speech, a civil tone.
But never thought
I would have the need,
as I do now, for a darker one:
 Spirit
of irony,
my caustic author
of the past, of memory,and of its pain, which returns
hurts, stings-reproach me now,
remind me
that I was in those rooms,
with my child,
with my back turned to her,
searching-oh irony!for beautiful things.

Imagery


Irony


actor’s speech, directed to audience, not supposed to be heard by other
actors on stage- usually used to let the audience know what a character is
about to do/is thinking.
Possible connotation


Lines 17 + 18 (also a transition in the poem. Line 17 ending the first half and
line 18 beginning the second half)
Almost representative of an Aside


Shown throughout the poem but mostly in lines 40-44
Minor Repetition


Shown mostly in first half of poem when setting the scene
The word Sunday gives the reader a feeling of possible serenity (depending
on what thoughts the reader associates with Sundays) and therefore creates
the mood depending on the readers association with that day.
Didactic

Conveys a meaning/moral

Beginning is a Narrative tone-gets almost lyrical near
the end. Speaker is a parent reflecting on past
memories.(Inarguable)


The subject is a parent remembering antique
shopping with their child. (Inarguable)


Assumed the parent is a mother although it is not directly
stated. [arguable]
From the tone it can be assumed the parent enjoys this
(stanza 2 + 4) and that the child does not (lines 12-13 +
stanza 3) [arguable]
Structure is 5 Stanzas, 44 lines (stanza1-7lines,
stanza2-9lines, stanza3-8lines, stanza4-9lines,
stanza5-11lines) no connection/pattern with lines
per stanza (Inarguable)
 Most

Lines 14-17


important lines (portray poems moral best)
her flame-coloured hair
obvious wheneverwhich was not oftenI turned around.
Lines 40-44

I was in those rooms,
with my child,
with my back turned to her,
searching-oh irony!for beautiful things.

Most Pivotal point in poem

Lines 17-19



I turned around.
I turned around.
She was gone.
Also somewhat ironic because it’s
at the beginning of Stanza 3, almost
directly in the middle of the poem.
Questioning/puzzling lines
Context that
follows is also
important because
it changes from
explaining antique
shopping to
explaining the
importance of
‘time’ lost with the
daughter.
Lines 1-2 (why Sundays? Why when there was no rain?
Where the antique fairs outside?)
 Lines 12-13 (Did the daughter not enjoy it or was she
looking at something else)
 Line 30 (“lyric speech, a civil tone” refers to what
exactly? History?)

 This
poem is about a parent who realizes
through reflecting on a memory how quickly
time goes by and how people try so hard to
look for happiness in life that they miss the
most wonderful parts, which are standing
right in front of them.

Most significant line (stanza 5, lines 40-44)

“I was in those rooms,
with my child,
with my back turned to her,
searching-oh irony!for beautiful things.”
Searching for
something that, at
the time, she hadn’t
realized was right
behind her.

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