Learn More

Patrick Kavanagh

(1904 - 1967 / County Monaghan)

Advent


We have tested and tasted too much, lover-
Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.
But here in the Advent-darkened room
Where the dry black bread and the sugarless tea
Of penance will charm back the luxury
Of a child's soul, we'll return to Doom
The knowledge we stole but could not use.

And the newness that was in every stale thing
When we looked at it as children: the spirit-shocking
Wonder in a black slanting Ulster hill
Or the prophetic astonishment in the tedious talking
Of an old fool will awake for us and bring
You and me to the yard gate to watch the whins
And the bog-holes, cart-tracks, old stables where Time begins.

O after Christmas we'll have no need to go searching
For the difference that sets an old phrase burning-
We'll hear it in the whispered argument of a churning
Or in the streets where the village boys are lurching.
And we'll hear it among decent men too
Who barrow dung in gardens under trees,
Wherever life pours ordinary plenty.
Won't we be rich, my love and I, and
God we shall not ask for reason's payment,
The why of heart-breaking strangeness in dreeping hedges
Nor analyse God's breath in common statement.
We have thrown into the dust-bin the clay-minted wages
Of pleasure, knowledge and the conscious hour-
And Christ comes with a January flower.


Submitted by Andrew Mayers

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
6 person liked.
3 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: january, christmas, flower, children, child, god, tree

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Advent by Patrick Kavanagh )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie Jim Behan (12/12/2011 6:42:00 AM)

    The word 'please' omitted from the eighth line of final verse. Unfortunate: -( (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Adrian Mullane (6/14/2010 9:03:00 PM)

    Read this for the 1st time when I at about 15 years old.
    I've never forgotten it so I suppose it made an impression :)

    Absolutely one of my favourite poems of all time. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie James Cadden (7/30/2009 1:57:00 AM)

    Read this poem a lietime and you will never understand the imagery to make the poem come to life you need trodded on the clay and looked oer the hills with unassuming eyes filled with wonder with the awe of a child looking through heaven's gable. (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  5. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  6. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  7. And Death Shall Have No Dominion, Dylan Thomas
  8. If, Rudyard Kipling
  9. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  10. On the Ning Nang Nong, Spike Milligan

Poem of the Day

poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Need To Know, Michael P. McParland
  2. Need, Michael P. McParland
  3. Where Did I go wrong, Poetic Lilly Emery
  4. A Universal Gift, Sandra Feldman
  5. The Constant Factor, Steve Kittell
  6. The Life Doesn't Stop for Me., Jiya Acharya
  7. Somewhere In Fantasy Land Hazel Icefrost, Heather Burns
  8. Beats of the New City., Jiya Acharya
  9. Somewhere In Fantasy Land A Wedding, Heather Burns
  10. Somewhere In Fatasy Land Bracken Elfshi.., Heather Burns
[Hata Bildir]