Patrick Kavanagh


Two Ways

I know the misery of towns
The hunger and the drouth,
Wise men on pavements built for clowns,
And poor forgotten Truth

A turnip-sculptor kneeling where
The heels of fashion fly - 
A ha'penny for a poet's prayer
In the glare of the Savoy.

High Moment

Dark incomprehensible woman suddenly
Stept down beside me out of a place of green leaves
Lovely as an Eastern queen in dawning's jewelry
Youth she was and fine though older than a million eaves.

Brown Fields

Intimate hate
Slow low and destroying
In the contemplate
Humped shoulders of a mute-proud ploughing.

The firstlings of thought,
Blasphemous understatement - 
Codes iron-wrought
In the foundry of the Lord's sure greatness.


Seek in all that which proves
The exciting moment.
Few are they
Who have seen once deeply
Through the veil of clay.


My fathers strung for me
No geneologic [sic] rosary
Beads of hypnotic truth.
And I must now by sheer
Intellect fear
The cul de sac, 
The worthless destiny that ends at Turn Back.


Pity the Early Christians
Food for the lust of lions and kings,
But more than that pity the clothed
In a world of wings.

Veni Creator

If you do come no more
I am as darkly dead as those
Who stand upon the silent shore
Where no speech quivers, and repose
Is a poor wind that now no longer blows

If you do come again
With April come and in her pure
Life-waters I may dip the pen
And so immortally endure
Oh I who was wise am ignorant-poor.


Ask no questions fools have queried
Intellect child-curiously,
Vaguely, impertinent:
     What is Time?
     The Space of life?
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