On Raglan Road Poem by Patrick Kavanagh

On Raglan Road

Rating: 3.7

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.

Jack Mcdaid 12 September 2010

This is my favorite poem of all time. My favorite version of the song is by Woody Lissauer (Self Titled CD) , it is more of a soft rock version, with a captivating syncopated beat, it is one of my favorite songs of all time as well! Two other versions of this song I have heard that I like a lot are 1) by Carmina (On a Quiet Street, Live in Ireland): and even more so 2) by Fair Isle Folk (25 Most Requested Irish Ballads, Vol I) . I have heard Luke Kelly's version, and although I know it is much loved, I find his voice to be too harsh for this song which I think requires a more delicate handling, considering the lyrics convey such pain.

20 20 Reply
Sally G 16 July 2011

Aaron Hurley! - 'creature made of clay' means 'human' - It is not insulting. Clay is the stuff God made man outo f in the Bible. The word clay in this context has been used for centuries. Angels are not made of clay, but humans are 'but made of clay'. You might think of this has one placing an ideal of perfection up one whi is only human - I think everyone has had this experience at one time or another where we are let down by humans not angels. Hope that helps!

29 7 Reply
Liz Mannion 05 May 2013

It was first published as a poem in The Irish Press on 3 October 1946 under the title Dark Haired Miriam Ran Away. Peter Kavanagh, Patrick's brother, said that it was written about Patrick's girlfriend Hilda but to avoid embarrassment he used the name of my girlfriend in the title.] Her real name was Dr. Hilda Moriarty who later married Donogh O'Malley, the Irish Minister for Health. Her son is the actor Daragh O'Malley In 1987, Hilda Moriarty was interviewed by the Irish broadcaster RTÉ for a documentary about Kavanagh called Gentle Tiger. In the interview, she said one of the main reasons for the failure of their relationship was that there was a wide age gap between them. She was only 22, whereas he was 40. Dr. Moriarty also described how Raglan Road came to be written. Kavanagh had described himself as the peasant poet but she was not impressed and teased him for writing about mundane things such as vegetables. She said he should write about something else so he agreed to do so. According to Dr. Moriarty, he then went away and wrote Raglan Road.

24 4 Reply
Katherine Hunter 05 January 2013

Note: first published as a poem in The Irish Press on 3 October 1946 under the title 'Dark Haired Miriam Ran Away'. - - I love this song.

17 8 Reply
Harley White 11 February 2021

A wonderful poem that is new to me, with rhymes intricately woven... a pleasure to read...

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Gangadharan nair Pulingat.. 11 February 2021

This beautiful poem I think relates to love and happiness likes

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Kishan.R 09 September 2018

I love you b for LOVE

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Myra Mooney 02 June 2018

This poem should be read by a male voice which would express feeling & meaning to the poem.

5 1 Reply
alison 07 April 2021

listen to Mark Knoeffler sing it. on youtube. The poetry in the song is exquisite.

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