Patrick Kavanagh

Patrick Kavanagh Poems

On Raglan Road on an autumn day I met her first and knew
That her dark hair would weave a snare that I might one day rue;
I saw the danger, yet I walked along the enchanted way,
And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.
...

I do not think of you lying in the wet clay
Of a Monaghan graveyard; I see
You walking down a lane among the poplars
On your way to the station, or happily
...

Every old man I see
Reminds me of my father
When he had fallen in love with death
One time when sheaves were gathered.
...

The bicycles go by in twos and threes -
There's a dance in Billy Brennan's barn to-night,
And there's the half-talk code of mysteries
And the wink-and-elbow language of delight.
...

5.

I have lived in important places, times
When great events were decided, who owned
That half a rood of rock, a no-man's land
Surrounded by our pitchfork-armed claims.
...

6.

And sometimes I am sorry when the grass
Is growing over the stones in quiet hollows
And the cocksfoot leans across the rutted cart-pass
That I am not the voice of country fellows
...

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
...

On an apple-ripe September morning
Through the mist-chill fields I went
With a pitch-fork on my shoulder
Less for use than for devilment.
...

O stony grey soil of Monaghan
The laugh from my love you thieved;
You took the gay child of my passion
And gave me your clod-conceived.
...

They laughed at one I loved-
The triangular hill that hung
Under the Big Forth. They said
That I was bounded by the whitethorn hedges
...

The birds sang in the wet trees
And I listened to them it was a hundred years from now
And I was dead and someone else was listening to them.
But I was glad I had recorded for him
...

Leafy-with-love banks and the green waters of the canal
Pouring redemption for me, that I do
The will of God, wallow in the habitual, the banal,
Grow with nature again as before I grew.
...

Upon a bank I sat, a child made seer
Of one small primrose flowering in my mind.
Better than wealth it is, I said, to find
One small page of Truth's manuscript made clear.
...

My black hills have never seen the sun rising,
Eternally they look north towards Armagh.
Lot's wife would not be salt if she had been
Incurious as my black hills that are happy
...

Now leave the check-reins slack,
The seed is flying far today -
The seed like stars against the black
Eternity of April clay.
...

We borrowed the loan of Kerr's ass
To go to Dundalk with butter,
Brought him home the evening before the market
And exile that night in Mucker.
...

Back once again in wild, wet Monaghan
Exiled from thought and feeling,
A mean brutality reigns:
It is really a horrible position to be in
...

April dusk
It is tragic to be a poet now
And not a lover
Paradised under the mutest bough.
...

19.

There's a wind blowing
Cold through the corridors,
A ghost-wind,
The flapping of defeated wings,
...

20.

Beauty was that
Far vanished flame,
Call it a star
Wanting better name.
...

Patrick Kavanagh Biography

Kavanagh was born on the 21st of October 1904, in the village of Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan, Ireland. His father was a shoemaker and had a small farm of land. At the age of thirteen Kavanagh became an apprentice shoemaker. He gave it up 15 months later, admitting that he didn't make one wearable pair of boots. For the next 20 years, Kavanagh would work on the family farm before moving to Dublin in 1939. Kavanagh's writing resulted in the publication of some poems in a local newspaper in the early 1930's. In 1939, his brother Peter, who was a Dublin based teacher, urged him to move to the city to establish himself as a writer. The Dublin Literary Society saw Kavanagh as a country farmer and referred to him as "That Monaghan Boy". Kavanagh spent the lean years of the war in Dublin, where his epic poem The Great Hunger was published in 1942, presenting the Irish farmer's grinding poverty and sexual inhibition. This found him in trouble with his publishers. In 1947, his first major collection A Soul for Sale , was published. These poems were the product of his Monaghan youth. After the war he published the novel Tarry Flynn (1948) which is a about a small time farmer who dreams of a different life as a writer and a poet. In the early 1950's, Kavanagh and his brother Peter, published a weekly newspaper called Kavanagh's Weekly , it failed because the editorial viewpoint was too narrow. In 1954, Kavanagh became embroiled in an infamous court case. He accused The Leader newspaper of slander. The newspaper decided to contest the case and hired John A. Costello, as their defense council. Kavanagh decided to prosecute the case himself and Costello destroyed him. The court case dragged on for over a year and Kavanagh's health began to fail. In 1955, he was diagnosed as having lung cancer and had a lung removed, Kavanagh survived and the event was a major turning point in his life and career. In 1958, he published Come Dancing with Kitty Stobling . In 1959, he was appointed to the faculty of English in UCD. His lectures were popular, but often irrelevant to the course. In the early 1960's, he visited Britain and USA. In 1965, he married Katherine Malony. He died in 1967 from an attack of bronchitis. Kavanagh's reputation as a poet is based on the lyrical quality of his work, his mastery of language and form and his ability to transform the ordinary into something of significance Patrick Kavanagh died in Dublin on 30th November 1967, bringing to a close the life of one of Ireland's most controversial and colorful literary figures.)

The Best Poem Of Patrick Kavanagh

On Raglan Road

On Raglan Road on an autumn day I met her first and knew
That her dark hair would weave a snare that I might one day rue;
I saw the danger, yet I walked along the enchanted way,
And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.

On Grafton Street in November we tripped lightly along the ledge
Of the deep ravine where can be seen the worth of passion's pledge,
The Queen of Hearts still making tarts and I not making hay -
O I loved too much and by such and such is happiness thrown away.

I gave her gifts of the mind I gave her the secret sign that's known
To the artists who have known the true gods of sound and stone
And word and tint. I did not stint for I gave her poems to say.
With her own name there and her own dark hair like clouds over fields of May

On a quiet street where old ghosts meet I see her walking now
Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow
That I had wooed not as I should a creature made of clay -
When the angel woos the clay he'd lose his wings at the dawn of day.

Patrick Kavanagh Comments

Alice Sinnott 09 October 2003

I would like a copy of the poem A View of God and the Devil by Patrick Kavanagh. Your help would be much appreciated.

11 16 Reply
Paul carroll 10 October 2018

Every month Patrick has poem to announce that month , this Oct and I love his poem

3 0 Reply
lolfam 19 December 2017

dis gucci poet i subskribe on utube

7 5 Reply
Ralph Wigg 20 February 2012

A beautiful poem set to a beautiful melody. I've listened to dozens of versions and while those listed here by others are fine, the wonderful, haunting track by Joan Osborne with the Chieftains is the one that gets me every time.

24 7 Reply
Cam Lyttle 16 April 2010

On Raglan Road was actually set to music by Kavanagh himself and the lead singer of The Dubliners, Luke Kelly. It is set to the music of the traditional Irish song 'Fainne Geal an Lae' (The Dawning of the Day) . This original version is by far the best of the numerous versions now on offer, truly capturing the feel of the poem (So much so it is used as a learning aid in Leaving Certificate English) , and i would wholly recommend anyone to give it a listen.

31 8 Reply
Michael Walsh 20 April 2008

Canadian singer Loreena McKennitt does an incredible job with Kavanagh's 'On Raglan Road' which she has set to music in her new album 'Nights from the Alhambra'. I mean this dame sings like a thrush! If one buys only one music CD a year, this would be it.

19 12 Reply

Patrick Kavanagh Quotes

It is impossible to read the daily press without being diverted from reality. You are full of enthusiasm for the eternal verities—life is worth living, and then out of sinful curiosity you open a newspaper. You are disillusioned and wrecked.

Actors are loved because they are unoriginal. Actors stick to their script. The unoriginal man is loved by the mediocrity because this kind of "artistic" expression is something to which the merest five-eighth can climb.

Malice is only another name for mediocrity.

A sweeping statement is the only statement worth listening to. The critic without faith gives balanced opinions, usually about second-rate writers.

What appears in newspapers is often new but seldom true.

A man is original when he speaks the truth that has always been known to all good men.

Patrick Kavanagh Popularity

Patrick Kavanagh Popularity

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