“Sinless, foodless”: The purging of desire in Eavan Boland’s “Anorexic”

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Eavan Boland’s “Anorexic” never fails to give me goose bumps, no matter how many times I read it. The speaker of the poem has fallen hard for Friedan’s Feminine Mystique and Wolf’s Beauty Myth (depending on which wave of feminism you’d like to ride), trying to destroy her desire (sexual and more of bodily needs) and her femininity through starving herself or purging whatever she does eat. Regardless of whether you look at the poem from a critical perspective or merely for entertainment purposes, reading this poem has a visceral impact on the reader quite unlike many poems I’ve read (and I read a lot of poetry; if you’ve read any of my previous stuff, you may have noticed that I’m a nnneeerrrrddd). Continue reading

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