Patrick Kavanagh

A View of God and the Devil

I met God the Father in the street
And the adjectives by which I would describe him are these:
Irresponsible - 
About frivolous things
He was not a man who would be appointed to a Board
Nor impress a bishop
Or gathering of art-lovers.

He was not splendid, fearsome or terrible
And yet not insignificant.
This was my God who made the grass
And the sun
And stones in streams in April;
This was the God I met
In an old quarry full of dandelions.
This was the God I met in Dublin
As I wandered the unconscious streets.

This was the God that brooded over the harrowed field - 
Rooney's - beside the main Carrick road
The day my first verses were printed - 
I knew Him and was never afraid
Of death or damnation
And I knew that the fear of God was the beginning of folly.

          The Devil
I met the Devil too,
And the adjectives by which I would describe him are these:
He was a man the world would appoint to a Board,
He would be on the list of invitees for a bishop's garden party,
He looked like an artist.

He was the fellow who wrote in newspapers about music,
Got into a rage when someone laughed;
He was serious about unserious things;
You had to be careful about his inferiority-complex
For he was conscious of being uncreative.
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