An eloquent series of linked essays about the poetic enterprise from "one of the finest and boldest poets of the last half century" (Poetry Review)."This is a book of being and becoming. It is about being a poet. It is also about the long process of becoming one," writes Eavan Boland. These inspiring essays are both critical and deeply personal, allowing the adventure, passion, and struggle of becoming a woman poet to be viewed from different perspectives. Boland traces her own experiences as a woman, wife, and mother and their effects on her poetry. In the opening essay, she explores the story of her mother, a painter, and her influence on Boland's own concepts of art and womanhood. She examines the work of women poets such as Adrienne Rich, Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Sylvia Plath, whose poetry provided light and guidance for her own work. And finally, in "Letter to a Young Woman Poet," she addresses an unseen young poet of the future, and looks to a world where this future artist can change the poetic past as well as the present.