Register to Comment
Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 41
Like Tree42Likes
  1. #1
    Catalpast Catalpast is offline
    Catalpast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    19,499

    30 November 1967: Patrick Kavanagh died 50 years ago today

    30 November 1967: Patrick Kavanagh Poet, Author and Playwright died on this day. He was born  in Inniskeen County Monaghan. It would become the inspiration for much of his work and would ultimately become his final resting place.

    He was born on 21 October 1904 & most of the first 35 years of his life were spent in the parish of Inniskeen and the countryside of County Monaghan. Kavanagh’s formal education ended after national school and he became an apprentice shoemaker to his father for a while. Kavanagh worked on the small family farm for twenty years and while there had his first work published. He was not a ‘natural’ at farming and his mind wandered over to what his lot was in this life. Kavanagh's first collection, Ploughman and Other Poems, was published in 1936. It is notable for its realistic portrayal of Irish country life. The Green Fool, a loosely autobiographical novel, was published in 1938.

    In 1939, after a short time in London, Patrick Kavanagh joined his brother Peter in Dublin. The city would become his home until his death in 1967. Kavanagh claimed to feeling like an exile in Dublin where for many years he struggled to make a living as a writer. Yet Kavanagh became a ‘Dublin character’ and the city had an important influence on his poetry. He was not impressed with the Dublin literary scene and thought a lot of what was spoken ‘drivel’. But his heart took to the Baggot St area of Dublin and he made it his ‘village’ where was known to everyone and they knew him.

    "he realized that the stimulating environment he had imagined was little different from the petty and ignorant world he had left. He soon saw through the literary masks many Dublin writers wore to affect an air of artistic sophistication. To him such men were dandies, journalists, and civil servants playing at art. His disgust was deepened by the fact that he was treated as the literate peasant he had been rather than as the highly talented poet he believed he was in the process of becoming".

    John Nemo Patrick Kavanagh 1979

    In 1942 he published his long poem The Great Hunger, which describes the privations and hardship of the rural life he knew well. Tarry Flynn, a semi-autobiographical novel, was published in 1948 and was banned for a time. His life drifted downwards though and he became a dishelvled figure along the banks of the Grand Canal and in the local pubs. In 1955 he was diagnosed with lung cancer and had a lung removed. It was while recovering from this that he rediscovered his poetic vision. He recalled: "As a poet I was born in or about 1955, the place of my birth being the banks of the Grand Canal". This proved a turning point and Kavanagh began receiving the acclaim that he had always felt he deserved. Between 1959 and 1962 Kavanagh spent more time in London, He gave lectures at UCD and in the United States he represented Ireland at literary symposiums, and became a judge of the Guinness Poetry Awards.

    Kavanagh married his long-term companion Katherine Barry Moloney in April 1967 and they set up home together on the Waterloo Road in Dublin. Kavanagh fell ill at the first performance of Tarry Flynn. He died from an attack of bronchitis on 30 November 1967. He was buried in his native Inniskeen.

    For most of his Life he had struggled with poverty both Material and of the Soul and with rejection by literary society and the wider world. It was only in the last two decades of his career that he really began to gain traction and recognition as one of Ireland’s finest poets of the 20th century.

    There is a statue of Kavanagh beside Dublin's Grand Canal inspired by his poem "Lines written on a Seat on the Grand Canal, Dublin":

    O commemorate me where there is water
    canal water preferably, so stilly
    greeny at the heart of summer. Brother
    commemorate me thus beautifully.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patric...Writing_career
    Sign in or Register Now to reply

  2. #2
    bob3344 bob3344 is online now
    bob3344's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    9,074

    Have never been a huge poetry fan but Tarry Flynn is a great book.
    Sign in or Register Now to reply

  3. #3
    Catalpast Catalpast is offline
    Catalpast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    19,499

    I only read The Green Fool and that is so long ago the memory is a bit hazy now.....
    Sign in or Register Now to reply

  4. #4
    fat finger fat finger is offline
    fat finger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1,133

    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!
    O green-life conquering plough!
    The mandril stained, your coulter blunted
    In the smooth lea-field of my brow.

    You sang on steaming dunghills
    A song of cowards' brood,
    You perfumed my clothes with weasel itch,
    You fed me on swinish food

    You flung a ditch on my vision
    Of beauty, love and truth.
    O stony grey soil of Monaghan
    You burgled my bank of youth!

    Lost the long hours of pleasure
    All the women that love young men.
    O can I stilll stroke the monster's back
    Or write with unpoisoned pen.

    His name in these lonely verses
    Or mention the dark fields where
    The first gay flight of my lyric
    Got caught in a peasant's prayer.

    Mullahinsa, Drummeril, Black Shanco-
    Wherever I turn I see
    In the stony grey soil of Monaghan
    Dead loves that were born for me.
    Sign in or Register Now to reply

  5. #5
    statsman statsman is offline
    statsman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    53,224

    For a man who wrote relatively little, he's a deeply uneven poet. At his best, there's a lyric economy and particularity that has to be admired; at his worst, his work is clumsy.


    The latter:
    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

    Going to second Mass on a summer Sunday -
    You meet me and you say:
    'Don't forget to see about the cattle - '
    Among your earthiest words the angels stray.
    The former:

    Upon a headland by a whinny hedge
    A hare sits looking down a leaf-lapped furrow
    There's an old plough upside-down on a weedy ridge
    And someone is shouldering home a saddle-harrow.
    Out of that childhood country what fools climb
    To fight with tyrants Love and Life and Time?
    Sign in or Register Now to reply

  6. #6
    Ferdia Ferdia is offline
    Ferdia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    260

    Sport was a recurring motif in his life but not in his poetry. This is an interesting look at his interest in GAA and other sports …

    Patrick Kavanagh: A far better Poet than a Footballer http://bit.ly/2AfT5fQ
    Sign in or Register Now to reply

  7. #7
    Darren J. Prior Darren J. Prior is offline
    Darren J. Prior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    8,060

    It's something I very rarely think of but I don't think I will ever forget my first day in Honours English in 5th Year being the first person asked to read and to have to read some of Stony Grey Soil. How depressing!
    Sign in or Register Now to reply

  8. #8
    A Voice A Voice is offline
    A Voice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    5,489

    EPIC

    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 most 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.
    1938
    Sign in or Register Now to reply

  9. #9
    The Field Marshal The Field Marshal is offline
    The Field Marshal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    44,564

    Behans description "The phukker from Mucker" sums it all up.
    Sign in or Register Now to reply

  10. #10
    Ferdia Ferdia is offline
    Ferdia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    260

    Quote Originally Posted by A Voice View Post
    EPIC

    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 most 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.
    1938
    In my view, his best poem.
    Sign in or Register Now to reply

Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Sign in to CommentRegister to Comment