Moths Eavan Boland
History • Moths are located all over the world • However, they are found most abundantly in regions such as Ireland due to high moisture levels
Vocabulary • Fuchsia( line 14) • noun 1. aplantbelongingto the genus Fuchsia,of the eveningprimrosefamily, including many varieties cultivated for their handsomedrooping flowers. Also calledCaliforniafuchsia. a nonwoodyshrub,Zauschneriacalifornica,having large crimson flowers. • 2. a bright, purplish-redcolor. • Moths (Title, lines 4,9 • anyofnumerousinsectsofthe order Lepidoptera,generallydistinguishedfromthebutterflies by having featheryantennae and byhavingcrepuscularornocturnalhabits. • Facsimile (line 21) • Also called fax. Telecommunications. a. a methodor device fortransmittingdocuments,drawings,photographs, or the like, by means of radioortelephone for exact reproductionelsewhere. an image transmitted by such a method. • Perishing (19) • causing destruction,ruin,extremediscomfort,or death
Tonight the air smells of cut grass.Apples rust on the branches. Already summer isa place mislaid between expectation and memory.
This has been a summer of moths.Their moment of truth comes well after dark.Then they reveal themselves at our window --ledges and sills as a pinpoint. A glimmer.
The books I look up about them are full of legends:Ghost-swift moths with their dancing assemblies at dusk.Their courtship swarms. How some kinds may steer by the moon.
The moon is up. The back windows are wide open.Mid-July light fills the neighbourhood. I stand by the hedge.
Once again they are near the windowsill---fluttering past the fuchsia and the lavender,which is knee-high, and too blue to warn them
they will fall down without knowing howor why what they steered by became, suddenlywhat they crackled and burned around. They will perish---
I am perishing -- on the edge and at the threshold ofthe moment all nature fears and tends toward:The stealing of the light. Ingenious facsimile.
And the kitchen bulb which beckons them makesmy child's shadow longer than my own.
Inarguables • Main topic is of Moths • At night • In summer • The Narrator has a child • Speaker is a adult / parent • Audience is everyone, especially people who can relate to this experience of moths in the summer • Structure • There are 9 stanzas • After the 6th stanza, the narrator goes from talking about moths to talking about themselves
Literary Features • Location • “between expectation and memory” • “at our window” • “near the windowsill” • Light • “a glimmer” • “light” • “kitchen bulb” • Night” • “tonight” • “after dark” • “moon” • “shadow” • Colors in Stanza 5 • “fuchsia” • “lavender” • “blue”
Arguables • Location • Changes in location represent time passing • Summer now gone • Light • The moths seek out light in the nighttime • The narrator is “perishing” but seeks the light in the dark time, finding it in their child • Night • The narrator is growing old or dying • Color in Stanza 5 • The only passage that refers to color • The colors are the beautiful things around the narrators life, distracting them from the coming old age/death • In the next stanza, the moths “fall” just like the narrator becomes too old or sick