Patrick Kavanagh

Untitled (Can a man grow from the dead clod of failure)

Can a man grow from the dead clod of failure
Some consoling flower
Something humble as a dandelion or a daisy
Something to wear as a buttonhole in Heaven.
Under the flat, flat grief of defeat maybe
Hope is a seed
Maybe this is what he was born for, this hour
Of hopelessness
Maybe it is here he must search
In this hell of unfaith
Where no one has a purpose
Where the web of Meaning is broken threads
And one man looks at another in fear.
O God can a man find You when he lies with his face downwards
And his nose in the rubble that was his achievement
Is the music playing behind the doors of despair
O God give us a purpose.

He was sitting in his room, having just woken to a horrible
reality, that he had failed. He had been masturbating mentally
and physically. And after the first horror had moved a little
distance off he began to masturbate with it. He began to say
to himself: I have failed but my failure is an experience; so
therefore it isn't failure. Full of hope, the false hope of the
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