Lost (and Found) in Translation. Women and Emigration in two poems by Eavan Boland, translated into Italian, with an Italian envoi
Taking as its cue the concept of emigration and translation as connected to the idea of metamorphosis, this paper focuses on Irish women’s experience of emigration with the traumas that change of place, language and mores provoke. In her poetical and critical works Eavan Boland, now an outstanding female voice of Irish poetry and literary scholarship, provides a remarkable and perceptive reading of that experience, juxtaposing it to the symbolized role of mothers of male heroes or to that of an ugly, grizzling and dangerously demanding old woman as represented in the Irish tradition. This contribution is also an exercise in translation, a metaphorical mirror, i.e. a reflection of/on a text: it offers Italian translations of “The Emigrant Irish” and “Mise Eire”, two poems by Boland, and of Padraic Pearse’s poem in the Irish language “Mise Éire”, which inspired the second, with some considerations and critical remarks. The Italian envoi consists of “Fogli bianchi”, a poem about emigration written by Eugenio Lucarelli, now working in Switzerland, translated into English and Gaeilge by Irish speaker and musician Kay McCarthy.