By Megan Harlan
Updated January 15, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Dissolving the borders between personal and political history, esteemed Irish poet Eavan Boland distills their common ground to a spare, haunting poetic topography in The Lost Land. Her melancholy memories of immigration — as a child from Ireland to England, and, in adulthood, to California, where she still longs for a real home (”one piece of ground…an island in its elements”) — undulate with sweeping, sorrowful parallels to Ireland’s colonized history. ”If colony is a wound what will heal it?” she wonders. Ultimately, Boland muses, ”memory itself has become an emigrant/wandering in a place/ where love dissembles itself as landscape.” B+