Eavan Boland died today.

There are so many poems, of course. But I am picking up Object Lessons, her memoir and rumination on being a poet, on being female, that feels especially suited to this moment when everything has shrunken and sharpened into the immediate and daily:

At the age of seventeen I left school. I went to university, and I wrote my first attempts at poetry in a room in a flat at the edge of the city. That room appears often in this book. I can see it now, and I have wanted the reader to see it. It was not large. It looked north rather than south. The window beside the table was small and inclined to stick on rainy afternoons. And yet for me, as for so many other writers in so many other rooms, this particular one remains a place of origin.

But one thing was lacking. There were times when I sat down at that table, or came up the stairs, my key in my hand, to open the door well after midnight, when I missed something. I wanted a story. I wanted to read or hear the narrative of someone else–a woman and a poet–who had gone here, and been there. Who had lifted a kettle to a gas stove. Who had set her skirt out over a chair, near to the clothes dryer, to have it without creases for the morning. Who had made the life meet the work and had set it down: the difficulties and rewards; the senses of lack. I remember thinking that it need not be perfect or important. Just there; just available. And I have remembered that.