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That the Science of Cartography Is Limited

That the Science of Cartography Is Limited

by Eavan Boland

Memory and the Past Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

but to tell myself again that

the line which says woodland and cries hunger
and gives out among sweet pine and cypress,
and finds no horizon

will not be there. (24-28)

Oh, the pathos of these final lines. The speaker has had a profound experience of understanding and mourning for those who died in the potato famine, but she knows that this tragedy will not be represented on the maps of Ireland. The famine road—"the line"—is personified; it takes on the voices of those who died building it. But they will not be remembered by cartography. Instead, Boland gives them a chance to speak through this poem.

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