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Old 08-04-2018, 05:47 AM
David Callin David Callin is offline
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Default Patrick Kavanagh

Hi all. I very rarely get to this neck of the woods - I have my work cut out just keeping up my membership rights on Met and Non-Met (and that's completely ignoring the Unreachable Parnassus of The Deep End) - but I recently posted a poem about Patrick Kavanagh, so I thought I'd share here a link to a poem of his. I read it for the first time this very morning. I like it a lot.

Is he a Master? A Minor one, perhaps. Enjoy, as I do ...

https://www.tcd.ie/English/patrickka...enonaseat.html
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Old 08-04-2018, 05:59 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi David,

That's a very nice poem. Thanks for sharing with us. It can't help but make me think of Yeats's words for his tombstone, which are in a completely different register; and, perhaps oddly, of Heaney's "Mid-Term Break":


I sat all morning in the college sick bay
Counting bells knelling classes to a close.
At two o'clock our neighbors drove me home.

In the porch I met my father crying--
He had always taken funerals in his stride--
And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.

The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram
When I came in, and I was embarrassed
By old men standing up to shake my hand

And tell me they were 'sorry for my trouble,'
Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest,
Away at school, as my mother held my hand

In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs.
At ten o'clock the ambulance arrived
With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.

Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops
And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him
For the first time in six weeks. Paler now,

Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple,
He lay in the four foot box as in his cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.

A four foot box, a foot for every year.


Cheers,
John
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Old 08-04-2018, 08:44 AM
David Callin David Callin is offline
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Hi John,

Yes, Yeats is there in the last line, isn't he? Well spotted. (I didn't see it on my first reading.)

Heaney could not not have been influenced by Kavanagh, and I know and like the poem of his that you've posted without immediately seeing a strong connection between the poems. I'll think about that.

Cheers

David
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Old 08-04-2018, 08:52 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi David,

Yup, Kavanagh has his passer-by in there. I don't see a direct link with the Heaney, I think it popped into my mind as another great Irish In Memoriam poem. To me, it may be Heaney's best work. :-)

Cheers,
John
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