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Patrick Kavanagh

Malice is only another name for mediocrity.

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What appears in newspapers is often new but seldom true.

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A man is original when he speaks the truth that has always been known to all good men.

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Wet Evening in April

The birds sang in the wet trees
And I listened to them it was a hundred years from now
And I was dead and someone else was listening to them.
But I was glad I had recorded for him
The melancholy.

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A Star

Beauty was that
Far vanished flame,
Call it a star
Wanting better name.

And gaze and gaze
Vaguely until
Nothing is left
Save a grey ghost-hill.

Here wait I
On the world's rim
Stretching out hands
To Seraphim.

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Gospel

We are the children of light,
Wise, not companioned
By goats
In a condemned graveyard.

Backward blowing
Blizzards of memory
Flatten out
The genealogies.

But here a point,
The objective essence
We work in.
We shall not drink from the stink-pots.

Propaganda,
Gospel spread
With tin shovels,
We are this generation.

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March

There's a wind blowing
Cold through the corridors,
A ghost-wind,
The flapping of defeated wings,
A hell-fantasy
From meadows damned
To eternal April

And listening, listening
To the wind
I hear
The throat-rattle of dying men,
From whose ears oozes
Foamy blood,
Throttled in a brothel.

I see brightly
In the wind vacancies
Saint Thomas Aquinas
And

[...] Read more

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Memory of my Father

Every old man I see
Reminds me of my father
When he had fallen in love with death
One time when sheaves were gathered.

That man I saw in Gardner Street
Stumbled on the kerb was one,
He stared at me half-eyed,
I might have been his son.

And I remember the musician
Faltering over his fiddle
In Bayswater, London,
He too set me the riddle.

Every old man I see
In October-coloured weather
Seems to say to me:
"I was once your father."

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To the Man After the Harrow

Now leave the check-reins slack,
The seed is flying far today -
The seed like stars against the black
Eternity of April clay.

This seed is potent as the seed
Of knowledge in the Hebrew Book,
So drive your horses in the creed
Of God the Father as a stook.

Forget the men on Brady's Hill.
Forget what Brady's boy may say.
For destiny will not fulfil
Unless you let the harrow play.

Forget the worm's opinion too
Of hooves and pointed harrow-pins,
For you are driving your horses through
The mist where Genesis begins.

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Kerr's Ass

We borrowed the loan of Kerr's ass
To go to Dundalk with butter,
Brought him home the evening before the market
And exile that night in Mucker.

We heeled up the cart before the door,
We took the harness inside -
The straw-stuffed straddle, the broken breeching
With bits of bull-wire tied;

The winkers that had no choke-band,
The collar and the reins . . .
In Ealing Broadway, London Town
I name their several names

Until a world comes to life -
Morning, the silent bog,
And the God of imagination waking
In a Mucker fog.

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