Patrick Kavanagh
Overview
Patrick Kavanagh was an Irish poet and novelist. Regarded as one of the foremost poets of the 20th century, his best known works include the novel Tarry Flynn
Tarry Flynn
Tarry Flynn is a novel by Irish poet and novelist Patrick Kavanagh, set in 1930s rural Ireland. The book is based on Kavanagh's experience as a young farmer in Monaghan. The novel however is set in Cavan...

and the poems Raglan Road
On Raglan Road
"On Raglan Road" is a well-known Irish song from a poem written by Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh named after Raglan Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin. In the poem the poet, walking on a "quiet street", recalls a love affair he had with a young woman...

and The Great Hunger. His work can best be categorised as accounts of Irish life and achieved a universal appeal through reference to commonplace.
Patrick Kavanagh was born in the rural townland of Inniskeen
Inniskeen
Inniskeen, officially Inishkeen , is a small village and parish in County Monaghan, Ireland, close to the County Louth and County Armagh borders. It is located about 17 km from Dundalk and 12 km from Carrickmacross and 5 km from Crossmaglen...

, County Monaghan
County Monaghan
County Monaghan is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Monaghan. Monaghan County Council is the local authority for the county...

 in 1904.
Encyclopedia
Patrick Kavanagh was an Irish poet and novelist. Regarded as one of the foremost poets of the 20th century, his best known works include the novel Tarry Flynn
Tarry Flynn
Tarry Flynn is a novel by Irish poet and novelist Patrick Kavanagh, set in 1930s rural Ireland. The book is based on Kavanagh's experience as a young farmer in Monaghan. The novel however is set in Cavan...

and the poems Raglan Road
On Raglan Road
"On Raglan Road" is a well-known Irish song from a poem written by Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh named after Raglan Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin. In the poem the poet, walking on a "quiet street", recalls a love affair he had with a young woman...

and The Great Hunger. His work can best be categorised as accounts of Irish life and achieved a universal appeal through reference to commonplace.

Birth and early life

Patrick Kavanagh was born in the rural townland of Inniskeen
Inniskeen
Inniskeen, officially Inishkeen , is a small village and parish in County Monaghan, Ireland, close to the County Louth and County Armagh borders. It is located about 17 km from Dundalk and 12 km from Carrickmacross and 5 km from Crossmaglen...

, County Monaghan
County Monaghan
County Monaghan is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Monaghan. Monaghan County Council is the local authority for the county...

 in 1904. He was the fourth of ten children. His father, James, was a shoemaker and small farmer, the illegitimate son of a schoolteacher called Keaveney which the local priest changed to Kavanagh. The teacher had to leave the area following the scandal and never taught in a national school again. Kavanagh's family were certainly intelligent - his brother Peter became a university professor and writer, two of his sisters were teachers and three became nurses (two of which were formidable matrons). One became a nun. This was a considerable achievement for a poor family. Patrick also entered the shoemaking trade after leaving school. He never got beyond 6th class, leaving Kednaminsha National School in 1916, at the age of 13. His love of poetry started at that young age. He once said "I majored in kicking a rag ball", but his education continued as he sat at his father's side and carried out the routine chores on their farm. He self-educated himself with extensive reading, often while outside on the outlying farm under a bush. For twenty years he lived a life as an ordinary young Irish
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 farmer
Farmer
A farmer is a person engaged in agriculture, who raises living organisms for food or raw materials, generally including livestock husbandry and growing crops, such as produce and grain...

 of the period, toiling for pocket money on the small family farm. His parents bought an additional small farm for him at Shancoduff townland beside Rocksavage Fort. Like all the other local farmers he participated in rural life, bought and sold at fairs and markets, went to Sunday Mass, attended wakes
Wake (ceremony)
A wake is a ceremony associated with death. Traditionally, a wake takes place in the house of the deceased, with the body present; however, modern wakes are often performed at a funeral home. In the United States and Canada it is synonymous with a viewing...

, funerals and weddings of neighbours, played pitch and toss at the crossroads and cycled to dances. He was also goalkeeper
Goalkeeper
In many team sports which involve scoring goals, a goalkeeper is a designated player charged with directly preventing the opposing team from scoring by intercepting shots at goal...

 for the Inniskeen Gaelic football
Gaelic football
Gaelic football , commonly referred to as "football" or "Gaelic", or "Gah" is a form of football played mainly in Ireland...

 team.

Kavanagh began writing verse at a young age and he began submitting poems to local and national newspapers. The first to be published appeared in 1928 in the Dundalk Democrat
Dundalk Democrat
The Dundalk Democrat is a regional newspaper printed in Dundalk, Republic of Ireland. Established in 1849, it primarily serves County Louth. It also serves County Monaghan, as well as parts of County Armagh, County Down, County Cavan and County Meath. The paper is owned by the holding company...

 and the Irish Independent
Irish Independent
The Irish Independent is Ireland's largest-selling daily newspaper that is published in both compact and broadsheet formats. It is the flagship publication of Independent News & Media.-History:...

. This was followed by poems appearing in literary magazines. He walked the eighty kilometres to Dublin to meet leading literary figures in 1931. In Dublin he met George William Russell
George William Russell
George William Russell who wrote under the pseudonym Æ , was an Irish nationalist, writer, editor, critic, poet, and painter. He was also a mystical writer, and centre of a group of followers of theosophy in Dublin, for many years.-Organisor:Russell was born in Lurgan, County Armagh...

 (AE), editor of the Irish Statesman
Irish Statesman
The Irish Statesman was a weekly journal promoting the views of the Irish Dominion League. It ran from 27 June 1919 to June 1920, edited by Warre B. Wells and with contributions from W. B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, and George William Russell...

, who encouraged him and gave him books, among them works by Feodor Dostoyevsky, Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse...

, Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century...

, and Robert Browning
Robert Browning
Robert Browning was an English poet and playwright whose mastery of dramatic verse, especially dramatic monologues, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets.-Early years:...

. AE also introduced Kavanagh to other literary figures. At the same time he joined Dundalk library and the first book he borrowed was The Waste Land
The Waste Land
The Waste Land[A] is a 434-line[B] modernist poem by T. S. Eliot published in 1922. It has been called "one of the most important poems of the 20th century." Despite the poem's obscurity—its shifts between satire and prophecy, its abrupt and unannounced changes of speaker, location and time, its...

by T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot
Thomas Stearns "T. S." Eliot OM was a playwright, literary critic, and arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century. Although he was born an American he moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 and was naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39.The poem that made his...

. He became increasingly dissatisfied with the confines of rural life, wanting recognition as a poet, and to associate with like minded people. In 1938 he left Inniskeen for London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and remained there for about five months. In 1939 he finally settled in Dublin.

After World War II Kavanagh needed money and work was nigh impossible to be found in Eire and the Dublin area in particular. His instinct was to return to Inniskeen
Inniskeen
Inniskeen, officially Inishkeen , is a small village and parish in County Monaghan, Ireland, close to the County Louth and County Armagh borders. It is located about 17 km from Dundalk and 12 km from Carrickmacross and 5 km from Crossmaglen...

, County Monaghan
County Monaghan
County Monaghan is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Monaghan. Monaghan County Council is the local authority for the county...

 but for some unknown reason he sought work in late 1946 in Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

 as a barman, working in a number of Public Houses in the Falls Road area. During this period he lodged in the Beechmount area in a house where he was related to the tenant through the tenant's brother-in-law in Ballymackney, County Monaghan
County Monaghan
County Monaghan is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Monaghan. Monaghan County Council is the local authority for the county...

.

A misunderstanding with the son-in-law of the tenant resulted in his leaving this house but almost immediately he found accommodation in the St. James' area of Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

 in a house owned by the previously named tenant's son. He stayed (off and on) in this new accommodation until late 1949 whilst still working as a bar-man and earning some additional money writing articles for local publications under various names. He returned to Dublin circa. mid-November 1949.

Early work, recognition and middle age

His rural background was reflected in his first volume of poems, “’’The Ploughman and Other Poems’’” which was published in 1936 by Macmillan Publishers
Macmillan Publishers
Macmillan Publishers Ltd, also known as The Macmillan Group, is a privately held international publishing company owned by Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. It has offices in 41 countries worldwide and operates in more than thirty others.-History:...

 to critical acclaim. Two years later “’’The Green Fool’’”, an autobiography, was published. He was sued for libel by the writer Oliver St. John Gogarty
Oliver St. John Gogarty
Oliver Joseph St John Gogarty was an Irish poet, author, otolaryngologist, athlete, politician, and well-known conversationalist, who served as the inspiration for Buck Mulligan in James Joyce's novel Ulysses....

 for his description of his first visit to Gogarty's home: "I mistook Gogarty's white-robed maid for his wife or his mistress; I expected every poet to have a spare wife." Gogarty, who had taken unreasonable offense at the close coupling of the words "wife" and "mistress", was awarded £100 in damages and the book was withdrawn. By the early 1940s his poems were beginning to attract attention of the literary circle. As an individual he was regarded as an uncouth outsider. In 1942 ‘’The Great Hunger’’, which is one of his most admired works, appeared. Patrick Maguire, the central character, is a hired hand in a rural, frugal land. Sex-starved and sex-obsessed, Maguire is a serial masturbator, a waster of seed who is mocked by teeming, fecund nature all around.‘’The Great Hunger’’ however did not enjoy unanimous or universal approval and all copies of ‘’The Horizon’’ literary magazine
Literary magazine
A literary magazine is a periodical devoted to literature in a broad sense. Literary magazines usually publish short stories, poetry and essays along with literary criticism, book reviews, biographical profiles of authors, interviews and letters...

 in which it was published were seized by An Garda Síochána on the order of the Minister for Justice because the work was regarded by some as an attack on the sexual policies of the Catholic Church in Ireland, and considered inappropriate by conservative political establishment. At the time of writing it he was being feted by John Betjeman
John Betjeman
Sir John Betjeman, CBE was an English poet, writer and broadcaster who described himself in Who's Who as a "poet and hack".He was a founding member of the Victorian Society and a passionate defender of Victorian architecture...

, later British Poet Laureate
Poet Laureate
A poet laureate is a poet officially appointed by a government and is often expected to compose poems for state occasions and other government events...

, who was press attache/intelligence operative at the British Embassy in Dublin during WWII. Kavanagh worked as a part time journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

, writing a gossip column in the Irish Press under the pseudonym Piers Plowman from 1942 to 1944 and acted as film critic for that same publication from 1945 to 1949. In 1946 the Archbishop of Dublin John Charles McQuaid found Kavanagh a job on the Catholic magazine 'The Standard' and continued to support him throughout his life. His novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

 ‘’Tarry Flynn
Tarry Flynn
Tarry Flynn is a novel by Irish poet and novelist Patrick Kavanagh, set in 1930s rural Ireland. The book is based on Kavanagh's experience as a young farmer in Monaghan. The novel however is set in Cavan...

’’ was published in 1948, and was also banned in Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 (although later unbanned on appeal). It was a fictional account of rural life and would later be made into a play and performed in the Abbey Theatre
Abbey Theatre
The Abbey Theatre , also known as the National Theatre of Ireland , is a theatre located in Dublin, Ireland. The Abbey first opened its doors to the public on 27 December 1904. Despite losing its original building to a fire in 1951, it has remained active to the present day...

 in 1966. Kavanagh's personality, varying from gruff to charming, became progressively quixotic as his drinking increased over the years and his health deteriorated. Eventually, a disheveled figure, he would move about the Dublin bars drinking whiskey with a predilection for turning on benefactors and friends.

Later career and death

In 1949 Kavanagh began to write a Diary for Envoy
Envoy, A Review of Literature and Art
December 1949- July 1951. Dublin, Ireland. Editor & Founder: John RyanDuring its brief existence, Envoy, A Review of Literature and Art, published the work of a broad range of writers, Irish and others. The first to publish J. P...

, a literary publication founded by John Ryan
John Ryan (Dublin artist)
John Ryan Dublin, Ireland was an Artist, broadcaster, publisher, critic, editor, patron and publican.John Ryan was many things but primarily a key figure in Bohemian Dublin for many years. He knew nearly every artist of note that lived in, or passed through, Dublin from the 1940s onwards...

, who became a lifelong friend and benefactor. The Envoy offices were at 39 Grafton Street and most of the journal’s business was conducted in the nearby pub, McDaid’s, which Kavanagh subsequently adopted as his city-centre local. Antoinette Quinn, in her biography says: " His association with Envoy brought him into contact with a circle of young artists and intellectuals. Chief among these, apart from John Ryan himself, were Anthony Cronin
Anthony Cronin
Anthony Cronin is an Irish poet. He received the Marten Toonder Award for his contribution to Irish literature....

, Patrick Swift
Patrick Swift
Patrick Swift was an artist born in Dublin, Ireland. Patrick Swift was a painter and key cultural figure in Dublin and London before moving to the Algarve in southern Portugal, where he is buried in the town of Porches...

 and, to a lesser extent at first, John Jordan
John Jordan (poet)
John Jordan was an Irish poet born in Dublin on 8 April 1930. He was educated at Synge Street CBS, University College, Dublin and Pembroke College, Oxford. In his teens he acted on the stage of the Gate Theatre, Dublin, before winning a Scholarship in English and French to Oxford University from...

... In conversation with Anthony Cronin, Kavanagh sometimes referred to his Envoy days as a time of poetic rebirth." In 1952, In conjunction with (and financed by) his brother Peter, Kavanagh published his own journal, "Kavanagh’s Weekly: A Journal of Literature and Politics" which ran to some 13 editions. In 1954, two major events changed Kavanagh's life: firstly, he embarked on a libel action and ended up being defeated; then shortly after he lost the action he was diagnosed with lung cancer
Lung cancer
Lung cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. If left untreated, this growth can spread beyond the lung in a process called metastasis into nearby tissue and, eventually, into other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in lung, known as primary...

 and was admitted to hospital where he had a lung
Lung
The lung is the essential respiration organ in many air-breathing animals, including most tetrapods, a few fish and a few snails. In mammals and the more complex life forms, the two lungs are located near the backbone on either side of the heart...

 removed. It was while recovering from this operation
Surgery
Surgery is an ancient medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate and/or treat a pathological condition such as disease or injury, or to help improve bodily function or appearance.An act of performing surgery may be called a surgical...

 by relaxing on the banks of the Grand Canal in Dublin that Kavanagh rediscovered his poetic vision. He began to appreciate nature and his surroundings and took his inspiration from this for much of his later poetry, and a new phase of poetry followed. Kavanagh was now receiving the acclaim which he had always felt he deserved. In 1956 Kavanagh, through Patrick Swift’s efforts, had 19 poems appear in the English literary journal Nimbus
Nimbus (literary magazine)
Nimbus, "A Magazine of Literature, the Arts, and New Ideas", was a literary magazine co-founded in London in 1951 by Martin Green and Tristram Hull.- History :...

. Antoinette Quinn says " Publication there was to prove a turning point…The publication of his next volume of verse, Come Dance with Kitty Stobling, was to be directly linked to the mini-collection in Nimbus, and his Collected Poems (1964)...". Between 1959-62 Kavanagh contributed to Swift's legendary X’ magazine
X (magazine)
X, A Quarterly Review was a British arts review published in London which ran for seven issues between 1959-1962. It was founded and co-edited by Patrick Swift and David Wright...

. During this period Kavanagh sheltered on and off with the Swift's in Westbourne Terrace. He gave lectures at University College Dublin
University College Dublin
University College Dublin ) - formally known as University College Dublin - National University of Ireland, Dublin is the Republic of Ireland's largest, and Ireland's second largest, university, with over 1,300 faculty and 17,000 students...

 and in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

(under the patronage of a contact Swift had introduced Kavanagh to). He represented Ireland at literary symposia and became a judge of the Guinness Poetry Awards. In London he often stayed with his publisher, Martin Green
Martin Green (author)
Martin Green is an English-born writer, editor and publisher.-Background:Born in Stockport, England, Green was schooled at A. S. Neill's Summerhill, while his parents fought in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War.Preston, Paul Doves of war: four women of Spain. Harper Collins,...

 & his wife, Fiona in their house in Tottenham Street. Fitzrovia. It was at this time Martin produced Kavanagh's Collected Poems ("following the suggestion of the painter Patrick Swift
Patrick Swift
Patrick Swift was an artist born in Dublin, Ireland. Patrick Swift was a painter and key cultural figure in Dublin and London before moving to the Algarve in southern Portugal, where he is buried in the town of Porches...

 and the poet Anthony Cronin
Anthony Cronin
Anthony Cronin is an Irish poet. He received the Marten Toonder Award for his contribution to Irish literature....

) for Martin Brian & O'Keeffe. In the introduction Kavanagh wrote "A man innocently dabbles in words and rhymes and finds that it is his life".

He married his long term companion Katherine Barry Moloney (niece of Kevin Barry
Kevin Barry
Kevin Gerard Barry was the first Irish republican to be executed by the British since the leaders of the Easter Rising. Barry was sentenced to death for his part in an IRA operation which resulted in the deaths of three British soldiers.Barry's death is considered a watershed moment in the Irish...

) in April 1967.
The novel Tarry Flynn
Tarry Flynn
Tarry Flynn is a novel by Irish poet and novelist Patrick Kavanagh, set in 1930s rural Ireland. The book is based on Kavanagh's experience as a young farmer in Monaghan. The novel however is set in Cavan...

 was adapted for the stage by P.J. O'Connor and performed at the Abbey Theatre
Abbey Theatre
The Abbey Theatre , also known as the National Theatre of Ireland , is a theatre located in Dublin, Ireland. The Abbey first opened its doors to the public on 27 December 1904. Despite losing its original building to a fire in 1951, it has remained active to the present day...

 in Dublin that year.

Kavanagh fell ill at the first performance of the play in the Dundalk
Dundalk
Dundalk is the county town of County Louth in Ireland. It is situated where the Castletown River flows into Dundalk Bay. The town is close to the border with Northern Ireland and equi-distant from Dublin and Belfast. The town's name, which was historically written as Dundalgan, has associations...

 Town Hall and he died later that week in a Dublin nursing home
Nursing home
A nursing home, convalescent home, skilled nursing unit , care home, rest home, or old people's home provides a type of care of residents: it is a place of residence for people who require constant nursing care and have significant deficiencies with activities of daily living...

 on 30 November 1967. His grave is in Inniskeen
Inniskeen
Inniskeen, officially Inishkeen , is a small village and parish in County Monaghan, Ireland, close to the County Louth and County Armagh borders. It is located about 17 km from Dundalk and 12 km from Carrickmacross and 5 km from Crossmaglen...

 adjoining the Patrick Kavanagh Centre
Patrick Kavanagh Centre
The Patrick Kavanagh Centre is located in Inniskeen, County Monaghan, Ireland. It is set up to commemorate the poet Patrick Kavanagh who is regarded as one of the foremost Irish poets of the 20th century. He was born in Mucker townland Inniskeen. It is located in the former RC St...

. His wife Katherine died in 1989; she is also buried there.

Kavanagh Archive

In 1986, Peter Kavanagh negotiated the sale of Patrick Kavanagh's papers as well as a large collection of his own work devoted to the late poet to University College Dublin. The purchase was enabled by a public appeal for funds by the late Professor Gus Martin. He included in the sale his original hand press which he had built. The archive is housed in a special collections room in UCD's library, and the hand press is on loan to the Patrick Kavanagh Centre, Inniskeen
Inniskeen
Inniskeen, officially Inishkeen , is a small village and parish in County Monaghan, Ireland, close to the County Louth and County Armagh borders. It is located about 17 km from Dundalk and 12 km from Carrickmacross and 5 km from Crossmaglen...

.

The contents include:
  • Early literary material containing verses, novels, prose writing and other publications; family correspondence containing letters to Cecilia Kavanagh and Peter Kavanagh; letters to Patrick Kavanagh from various sources (1926–40).
  • Later literary material containing verses, novels, articles, lectures, published works, galley page proofs, Kavanagh’s Weekly, and adaptations of Patrick’s work (1940–1967).
  • Documents concerning libel case of Kavanagh v The Leader (1952–54).
  • Personal correspondence including correspondence with his sisters, Peter Kavanagh, Katherine Barry Moloney (1947–1967).
  • Printed material, press cuttings, publications, personal memorabilia, and tape recordings (1940–67).


Peter Kavanagh 's papers include thesis, plays, antobiographical writing, and printed material, personal and general correspondence memorabilia, tape recordings, galley proofs (1941–82) and Family memorabilia (1872–1967).

Themes

Kavanagh was a poet formed by his experiences in his native Monaghan and later in his adopted Dublin. He constantly repeats country townland
Townland
A townland or bally is a small geographical division of land used in Ireland. The townland system is of Gaelic origin—most townlands are believed to pre-date the Norman invasion and most have names derived from the Irish language...

 names to connect with his native countryside. This is repeated with street names in Dublin in later poems. Most of his poems are geographically rooted. This is summed up in the concluding lines of "Epic" ..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."Stony Grey Soil" depicts Kavanagh's awareness of nature. It shows the bitterness and the tragedy of his life there. In the poem he is ill at ease in a countryside and culture he condemns. He uses verbs such as clogged, and burgled to display his sense of desperation and loss. Kavanagh has a love-hate relationship with his native countryside. In Dublin he wrote many satirical poems condemning the prevalent hypocrisy of the literary and political establishment.

Kavanagh's love of nature was rekindled following his operation for lung cancer
Lung cancer
Lung cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. If left untreated, this growth can spread beyond the lung in a process called metastasis into nearby tissue and, eventually, into other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in lung, known as primary...

. He said "As a poet I was born in or about 1955, the place of my birth being the banks of the Grand Canal". After having been near death he could look at life and nature with new found wonder. Nature is glorified in a pantheistic manner in the poetry written from then on. Kavanagh had come full circle and was at peace with himself and the world.

Language

Kavanagh's use of language in some poems convey the mystery
Wiktionary
Wiktionary is a multilingual, web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in 158 languages...

 and magic
Magic (fantasy)
Magic in fiction is the endowing of fictional characters or objects with magical powers.Such magic often serves as a plot device, the source of magical artifacts and their quests...

 of a child's mind, looking at the commonplace as though for the first time with wonder. He uses simple language forms and edited his poetry continuously to simplify them. Colloquial language is an intrinsic element of Kavanagh's style. His phraseology is conversational and many of his phrases owe their origin to his Monaghan
County Monaghan
County Monaghan is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Monaghan. Monaghan County Council is the local authority for the county...

 background-: "And we'll hear it among decent men too/ Who barrow dung in gardens under trees", "he stared at me half eyed" and "every blooming thing".

He sometimes creates new uses of words by coining adverbs and adjectives from existing nouns. In the poem "Lines Written on a seat on the Grand Canal Dublin" words such as 'stilly', 'greeny', 'Niagariously' and 'Parnassian' represent this feature of Kavanagh's language. He occasionally combined existing words to form a new one (Neologism). In "Advent", the word 'dreeping' is a fusion of the words dripping and creeping which is designed to create in the mind of the reader the qualities of both words.

He occasionally used exaggeration for poetic effect (Hyperbole
Hyperbole
Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally....

) "The tremendous silence of mid-July". In "Inniskeen Road: July evening", the comparison with Alexander Selkirk
Alexander Selkirk
Alexander Selkirk was a Scottish sailor who spent four years as a castaway when he was marooned on an uninhabited island. It is probable that his travels provided the inspiration for Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe....

 leads him to consider Inniskeen Road as "a mile of kingdom". In "Advent" "The spirit-shocking wonder in a black slanting Ulster
Ulster
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island. In ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial...

 hill"
, or"the luxury of a child's soul".

Kavanagh's use of allusion
Allusion
An allusion is a figure of speech that makes a reference to, or representation of, people, places, events, literary work, myths, or works of art, either directly or by implication. M. H...

 is another aspect in many of his poems. In "Stony Grey Soil", he refers to the poise and stride of Apollo
Apollo
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in Greek and Roman mythology...

. In "Advent" he alludes to the nativity "old stables where Time begins".

He has been criticised for over use of classical sonnet styles and rhymes in many poems which constricted his poetic capabilities. This was undoubtably a result of his self education which started using "The Golden Treasury".

Legacy

Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney is an Irish poet, writer and lecturer. He lives in Dublin. Heaney has received the Nobel Prize in Literature , the Golden Wreath of Poetry , T. S. Eliot Prize and two Whitbread prizes...

 is acknowledged to have been influenced by Kavanagh. He was introduced to Kavanagh's poetry by the writer Michael MacLaverty
Michael MacLaverty
Michael McLaverty was an Irish writer of novels and short stories.-Background:Michael McLaverty was born in County Monaghan and then moved as a child to the Beechmount area of Belfast He attended St Gall's School and then went to College and became a school teacher. Michael McLaverty worked as a...

 when they taught together at St Thomas's Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

. Their poetry shares a belief in the capacity of the local, or parochial, to reveal the universal. He has said that Kavanagh's poetry"had a transformative effect on the general culture and liberated the gifts of the poetic generations who came after him." He noted "Kavanagh is a truly representative modern figure in that his subversiveness was turned upon himself: dissatisfaction, both spiritual and artistic, is what inspired his growth...His instruction and example helped us to see an essential difference between what he called the parochial and provincial mentalities" As Kavanagh put it All great civilizations are based on the parish. He concludes that Kavanagh's poetry vindicates his "indomitable faith in himself and in the art that made him so much more than himself" Unlearnedly and unreasonably poetry is shaped / Awkwardly but alive in the unmeasured womb.
When the Irish Times compiled a list of favourite Irish poems in 2000, ten of his poems were in the top fifty, and Kavanagh was rated the second favourite poet behind WB Yeats.
His poem "On Raglan Road
On Raglan Road
"On Raglan Road" is a well-known Irish song from a poem written by Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh named after Raglan Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin. In the poem the poet, walking on a "quiet street", recalls a love affair he had with a young woman...

," set to the traditional air (Fáinne Geal an Lae) composed by Thomas Connellan
Thomas Connellan
Thomas Connellan was an Irish composer.Connellan was born about 1640/1645 at Cloonmahon, County Sligo. Both he and his brother, William Connellan became harpers...

 in the 17th century, has been performed by numerous artists as diverse as Van Morrison
Van Morrison
Van Morrison, OBE is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are regarded as transcendental and inspired; while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, and the live album It's Too Late to Stop Now, are widely...

, Luke Kelly
Luke Kelly
Luke Kelly was an Irish singer and folk musician from Dublin, Ireland, notable as a founding member of the band The Dubliners.-Early life:...

, Dire Straits
Dire Straits
Dire Straits were a British rock band active from 1977 to 1995, composed of Mark Knopfler , his younger brother David Knopfler , John Illsley , and Pick Withers .Dire Straits' sound drew from a variety of musical influences, including jazz, folk, blues, and came closest...

, Billy Bragg
Billy Bragg
Stephen William Bragg , better known as Billy Bragg, is an English alternative rock musician and left-wing activist. His music blends elements of folk music, punk rock and protest songs, and his lyrics mostly deal with political or romantic themes...

, Sinéad O'Connor
Sinéad O'Connor
Sinéad Marie Bernadette O'Connor is an Irish singer-songwriter. She rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion and the Cobra and achieved worldwide success in 1990 with a cover of the song "Nothing Compares 2 U"....

, Joan Osborne
Joan Osborne
Joan Elizabeth Osborne is an American singer-songwriter. She is best known for her song "One of Us". She has toured with Motown sidemen the Funk Brothers and was featured in the documentary film about them, Standing in the Shadows of Motown.-Biography:Originally from Anchorage, Kentucky, a suburb...

 and many other singers.

There is a statue of Kavanagh by 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."
Every 17 March, after the St Patrick's day parade, a group of Kavanagh's friends gather at the Kavanagh seat on the banks of the Grand Canal at Mespil road in his honour. There is also another, original, seat situated on the South Bank at the Lock Gates close to Baggot Street Bridge (As is well known from his poem and heavy hints to his friends, he wished to be commemorated with a simple canal side seat near the lock gates of Baggot Street Bridge). It was erected by his friends, led by John Ryan
John Ryan (Dublin artist)
John Ryan Dublin, Ireland was an Artist, broadcaster, publisher, critic, editor, patron and publican.John Ryan was many things but primarily a key figure in Bohemian Dublin for many years. He knew nearly every artist of note that lived in, or passed through, Dublin from the 1940s onwards...

 and Denis Dwyer, in 1968.

His poetic tribute to his friend the Irish American sculptor Jerome Connor
Jerome Connor
Jerome Connor was an Irish sculptor.-Life:...

 was used in the plague overlooking Dublin's Phoenix Park
Phoenix Park
Phoenix Park is an urban park in Dublin, Ireland, lying 2–4 km west of the city centre, north of the River Liffey. Its 16 km perimeter wall encloses , one of the largest walled city parks in Europe. It includes large areas of grassland and tree-lined avenues, and since the seventeenth...

 dedicated to Connor.

There is also a statue of Patrick Kavanagh located outside the Irish pub and restaurant, Raglan Road, at Walt Disney World's Downtown Disney in Orlando, Florida.

The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award
Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award
The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award is an Irish poetry award for a collection of poems by an author who has not previously been published in collected form. It is confined to poets born on the island of Ireland, or of Irish nationality, or a long-term resident of Ireland. It is based on an open...

 is presented each year for an unpublished collection of poems

The annual Patrick Kavanagh Weekend takes place on the last weekend in November in Inniskeen
Inniskeen
Inniskeen, officially Inishkeen , is a small village and parish in County Monaghan, Ireland, close to the County Louth and County Armagh borders. It is located about 17 km from Dundalk and 12 km from Carrickmacross and 5 km from Crossmaglen...

, County Monaghan
County Monaghan
County Monaghan is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Monaghan. Monaghan County Council is the local authority for the county...

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

.

The Patrick Kavanagh Centre
Patrick Kavanagh Centre
The Patrick Kavanagh Centre is located in Inniskeen, County Monaghan, Ireland. It is set up to commemorate the poet Patrick Kavanagh who is regarded as one of the foremost Irish poets of the 20th century. He was born in Mucker townland Inniskeen. It is located in the former RC St...

.an interpretative centre set up to commemorate the poet, is located in Inniskeen.

The actor Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe
Russell Ira Crowe is a New Zealander Australian actor , film producer and musician. He came to international attention for his role as Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius in the 2000 historical epic film Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor, a...

 has stated he is a fan of Kavanagh. "I like the clarity and the emotiveness of (Patrick) Kavanagh. I like how he combines the kind of mystic into really clear, evocative work that can make you glad you are alive". In February 2002, Crowe quoted Kavanagh during his acceptance speech at the annual BAFTA awards. When he became aware that the Kavanagh quote had been cut from the final broadcast he became aggressive with the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 Producer responsible. he said "the thing is that it was about a one minute fifty speech but they've cut a minute out of it". The poem that was cut was sanctity a four line poem that he delivered in less than a minute To be a poet and not know the trade,/To be a lover and repel all women;/Twin ironies by which great saints are made,/The agonising pincer-jaws of heaven.

A bronze sculpture of the writer stands outside the Palace Bar on Dublin's Fleet Street.

Copyright problems

Ownership of the copyright is vested in Trustees of The Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Trust by virtue of the terms of the will of the late Kathleen Kavanagh, widow of the poet, who in turn became entitled to the copyright on the death of her husband. The proceeds of the trust are used to support deserving writers. The Trustees are Leland Bardwell
Leland Bardwell
Leland Bardwell is an Irish poet, novelist and playwright. She was born in India to Irish parents, and moved to Ireland at the age of two.-Life and reputation:...

, Patrick MacEntee, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin is an Irish poet born in Cork .-Life:Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin is the daughter of Eilís Dillon and Professor Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin. She was educated at University College Cork and The University of Oxford. She lives in Dublin with her husband Macdara Woods, and they have one...

, Eunan O'Halpin
Eunan O'Halpin
Eunan O'Halpin is an Irish historian. He is Bank of Ireland Professor of Contemporary Irish History at Trinity College Dublin. He received his BA and MA from University College Dublin and received a PhD from the University of Cambridge....

, and Macdara Woods
Macdara Woods
Macdara Woods is an Irish poet born in Dublin.-Life:Macdara Woods is married to the poet Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, they have an adult son, Niall, a musician. Woods currently lives in Dublin and Umbria...

. This was disputed by the late Peter Kavanagh who continued publishing his work after Patrick's death. This dispute led some books to go out of print. Most of his work is now available in the UK and Ireland but the status in the United States is more uncertain.

Poetry

  • 1936 - Ploughman and Other Poems
  • 1942 - The Great Hunger
  • 1947 - A Soul For Sale
  • 1958 - Recent Poems
  • 1960 - Come Dance with Kitty Stobling and Other Poems
  • 1964 - Collected Poems(ISBN 0 85616 100 4)
  • 1972 - The Complete Poems of Patrick Kavanagh edited by Peter Kavanagh
  • 1978 - Lough Derg
  • 1996 - Selected Poems edited by Antoinette Quinn (ISBN 0140184856)
  • 2004 - Collected Poems edited by Antoinette Quinn (ISBN 0-713-99599-8)

Prose

  • 1938 - The Green Fool
  • 1948 - Tarry Flynn (ISBN 0141183616)
  • 1964 - Self Portrait - recording
  • 1967 - Collected Prose
  • 1971 - November Haggard a collection of prose and poetry edited by Peter Kavanagh
  • 1978 - By Night Unstarred A conflated novel completed by Peter Kavanagh
  • 2002 - A Poet's Country: Selected Prose edited by Antoinette Quinn (ISBN 1843510103)

Dramatisations

  • 1966 - Tarry Flynn adapted by P.J O'Connor
  • 1986 - The Great Hunger adapted by Tom Mac Intyre
  • 1992 - Out of That Childhood Country John McArdle’s (1992), co-written with his brother Tommy and Eugene MacCabe is about Kavanagh’s youth loosely based on his writings.
  • 1997 - Tarry Flynn adapted by Conall Morrison (modern dance and play)
  • 2004 - The Green Fool adapted by Upstate Theatre Project

Biography and critiques

  • Lapped Furrows correspondence with his brother as well as a memoir on Patrick by Sister Celia his sister a nun edited by Peter Kavanagh(1969)
  • Garden of the Golden Apples, A Bibliography by Peter Kavanagh (1971)
  • Clay is the Word: Patrick Kavanagh 1904-1967 by Alan Warner (1973)
  • Sacred Keeper , a biography by Peter Kavanagh (1978)
  • Patrick Kavanagh by John Nemo (1979)
  • Patrick Kavanagh: Man and Poet edited by Peter Kavanagh 1986
  • Patrick Kavanagh: Born Again Romantic by Antoinette Quinn 1991
  • The Mystical Imagination of Patrick Kavanagh: A Buttonhole in Heaven? Sr. Una Agnew (Columba Press, 1999) ISBN 978-1-85607-276-2
  • Patrick Kavanagh: A Life Chronicle a biography by Peter Kavanagh (2000)
  • Patrick Kavanagh: A Biography by Antoinette Quinn 2001
  • No Earthly Estate: The Religious Poetry of Patrick Kavanagh Tom Stack (2002)

See also

  • Peter Kavanagh (writer) - Patrick's brother
  • List of people on stamps of Ireland
  • Kavanagh
    Kavanagh
    Kavanagh or Kavanaugh may refer to:People with the surname Kavanagh or Kavanaugh:*Kavanagh In places:*Kavanagh, Alberta, a hamlet in Canada*Kavanagh building, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.Other:...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK