Patrick Kavanagh
County Monaghan
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Stony Grey Soil

Rating: 3.2
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.

You clogged the feet of my boyhood
And I believed that my stumble
Had the poise and stride of Apollo
And his voice my thick tongued mumble.
You told me the plough was immortal!
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COMMENTS
Adrian Mullane 14 June 2010
Not to knock Yeats but yes he did live at Thoor Ballylee in the summertime but essentially he had an urban outlook. Kavanagh was rural through and through.
7 3 Reply
Kevin Murphy 23 May 2007
Kavanagh truly is the greatest of all Irish poets. Unlike Yeats, who romanticised the Irish peasantry to almost ridiculously patronising heights; Kavanagh, (himself a poor Irish farmer) , saw this way of life for what it really was; an unfulfilled life of struggle, poverty and frustration. His poem “Stony Grey Soil” perfectly exemplifies this way of life and gives the reader a pragmatic insight into the real life experiences of the Irish peasantry, rather than Yeats’s sentimentalised thesis, viewed from his comfortable upper-class ivory tower.
17 1 Reply

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