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That the Science of Cartography Is Limited

That the Science of Cartography Is Limited

by Eavan Boland
 Table of Contents

That the Science of Cartography Is Limited Wisdom and Knowledge Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

and when I take downthe map of this island, it is never soI can say here isthe masterful, the apt rendering of the spherical as flat, noran ingenious design which persuades a curveinto a plane, (17-23)


Here, the speaker describes the ways in which maps do a pretty awesome job of representing the world. But, she frames the discussion by saying that she does not look at maps because of the awesome ways that they represent the world. She has ulterior motives, this one.

Quote #2

but to tell myself again thatthe line which says woodland and cries hungerand gives out among sweet pine and cypress,and finds no horizonwill not be there. (24-28)


The poem ends with a rationale for why the speaker looks at maps. She looks at them to account for their absences; she knows that maps do not represent famine roads. In this way, maps prove ignorant of history. But the speaker doesn't ignore her nation's troubled history. She uses the map's elisions as an opportunity to create knowledge and understand her world differently—through poetry. And by the end of this poem, we're pretty sure we understand our world differently, too.

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