Tag: Patrick Kavanagh

In Memory Of My Mother: First anniversary

Tuesday, 6 September, 2016 2 Comments

It is said that the mind, to protect sanity, covers old wounds with scar tissue and thus lessens pain. Maybe so. The pain does not go away, however. As we wrote on this day last year: Our loss is enormous. Our hearts are broken. Our sorrow is great. Our hope is that our mother, Catherine O’Donnell-Fitzgerald (29 July 1928 – 6 September 2015), will smile up at us and down on us — eternally — because we will be forever in her debt.

In Memory Of My Mother

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.

And I think of you walking along a headland
Of green oats in June,
So full of repose, so rich with life —
And I see us meeting at the end of a town

On a fair day by accident, after
The bargains are all made and we can walk
Together through the shops and stalls and markets
Free in the oriental streets of thought.

O you are not lying in the wet clay,
For it is a harvest evening now and we
Are piling up the ricks against the moonlight
And you smile up at us — eternally.

Patrick Kavanagh

Mammy


In Memory Of My Mother

Sunday, 6 September, 2015 1 Comment

Our loss is enormous. Our hearts are broken. Our sorrow is great. Our hope is that our mother, Catherine O’Donnell-Fitzgerald (29 July 1928 – 6 September 2015), will smile up at us and down on us — eternally — because we will be forever in her debt.

In Memory Of My Mother

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.

And I think of you walking along a headland
Of green oats in June,
So full of repose, so rich with life —
And I see us meeting at the end of a town

On a fair day by accident, after
The bargains are all made and we can walk
Together through the shops and stalls and markets
Free in the oriental streets of thought.

O you are not lying in the wet clay,
For it is a harvest evening now and we
Are piling up the ricks against the moonlight
And you smile up at us — eternally.

Patrick Kavanagh

Mammy


Rainey Heaney

Wednesday, 8 January, 2014 2 Comments

The Christmas reading included Stepping Stones, a big book of interviews with the late Seamus Heaney by fellow poet, Dennis O’Driscoll. It’s an inside job for readers of Heaney’s oeuvre, “on whose behalf I hope to have asked the kinds of questions which they themselves might have wished to pose.” Heaney’s worldview was formed in places named Anahorish, Mossbawn, Lough Beg and Toome and these, to quote him about one of his formative influences, Patrick Kavanagh, are used “as posts to fence out a personal landscape.”

“When did you meet Kavanagh himself?” asks O’Driscoll in the section titled “On the Books.” It was not until the summer of 1967, says Heaney and the place was the Baily pub on Dublin’s Duke Street. Richard Ryan made the introduction.

“At first I avoided the contact as unobtrusively as possible,” says Heaney, “kept my face to the counter when he stopped to speak to Richard, and waited for him to move on — he was coming back past our part of the counter on his way from the Gents. But the pause continued and what had begun as a reticence started to look like an ignorance; so I turned round and said, ‘Mr Kavanagh, can I buy you a drink?’

‘No’, he replies, with the ‘o’ in the ‘No’ well lengthened out. So then Richard says something like, ‘Paddy, this man’s come down here from Belfast, and he’s just published a book of poems. His name’s Seamus Heaney.’ And Kavanagh says to me, ‘Are you Heaney?’ rhyming me with Rainey, as people did in the country at home. ‘Well, I’ll have a Scotch.’ So I took that as a pass.”

Patrick Kavanagh


The Queen of Hearts still making tarts

Sunday, 17 November, 2013 0 Comments

“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 by such is happiness thrown away.” The song version of […]

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“A Christmas Childhood” by Patrick Kavanagh

Tuesday, 25 December, 2012 0 Comments

The poet Patrick Kavanagh captures the vivid imagination of a farm-boy, “six Christmases of age”, who is enchanted by the rural Irish world surrounding him. Rainy Day would like to take this opportunity to wish our readers a happy and peaceful Christmas.

A Christmas Childhood

My father played the melodeon
Outside at our gate;
There were stars in the morning east
And they danced to his music.

Across the wild bogs his melodeon called
To Lennons and Callans.
As I pulled on my trousers in a hurry
I knew some strange thing had happened.

Outside the cow-house my mother
Made the music of milking;
The light of her stable-lamp was a star
And the frost of Bethlehem made it twinkle.

A water-hen screeched in the bog,
Mass-going feet
Crunched the wafer-ice on the pot-holes,
Somebody wistfully twisted the bellows wheel.

My child poet picked out the letters
On the grey stone,
In silver the wonder of a Christmas townland,
The winking glitter of a frosty dawn.

Cassiopeia was over
Cassidy’s hanging hill,
I looked and three whin bushes rode across
The horizon. The Three Wise Kings.

An old man passing said:
‘Can’t he make it talk’ —
The melodeon. I hid in the doorway
And tightened the belt of my box-pleated coat.

I nicked six nicks on the door-post
With my penknife’s big blade.
There was a little one for cutting tobacco,
And I was six Christmases of age.

My father played the melodeon,
My mother milked the cows,
And I had a prayer like a white rose pinned
On the Virgin Mary’s blouse.

Patrick Kavanagh (1904 – 1967)