Epic Poem by Patrick Kavanagh


Rating: 3.5

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.
I heard the Duffys shouting "Damn your soul!"
And old McCabe stripped to the waist, seen
Step the plot defying blue cast-steel -
"Here is the march along these iron stones."
That was the year of the Munich bother. Which
Was more important? I inclined
To lose my faith in Ballyrush and Gortin
Till Homer's ghost came whispering to my mind.
He said: I made the Iliad from such
A local row. Gods make their own importance.

Mark Carolan 30 December 2009

Indeed 'Gods do make their own importance'. This poem perfectly capures the microcosim whitin the macrocosim. After all we are all our own gods. I knew the Duffy's. They damned my soul too.

21 13 Reply
Andrew Hoellering 08 February 2009

Yes, 'the Munich bother' indicates the farmers' attitude to world- shaking affairs compared to their own! But the poet's snap judgement is then tempered by his knowledge of the classics; these men can also be viewed as local gods, who 'make their own judgement.' Mutual forgiveness of each vice Such are the gates of paradise (William Blake) A fine poem that is also an exercise in tolerance.

8 17 Reply
M Asim Nehal 07 September 2018

I agree with what you say....

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Jierong Ye 12 November 2013

qu ni ma ge bi gan ma bu gei wo jin qu a

4 17 Reply
Doreen Dillon 28 December 2008

this poem was written by P K. to explain how important it was to the people esp from a country area in old ireland, the importance of that small bit of land, and the row that mite take place between two neighbours over it. there might be a war going on in europe or whereever but the row over the small plot of land in monaghan had more significance than world war 2 to the people in that country area

12 7 Reply
Brenda Ni Shuilleabhain 15 August 2022

commentary is irritating, she stops at the end of every line, losing the sense of the piece

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Adeeb Alfateh 02 March 2020

such a beautiful poem........ fantastic 10++

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hollaaaaaa 18 December 2018

byeeei, luiki schooli

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Glen Kappy 07 September 2018

An interesting sonnet with an interesting point—who decides what’s really important? A good reminder of the finite or myopic view we humans have of history and of everything. -GK

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Baquee Billah Ahmed 07 September 2018

nice poem....................

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