Thursday 25 May 2017

Kavanagh - beyond the Celtic Mist

Collected Poems By Patrick Kavanagh Ed. Antoinette Quinn Allen Lane/Penguin, ?32.99 Hugh McFadden This is an important book. Patrick Kavanagh was not "the greatest Irish poet since Yeats", as he was dubbed: rather, he was the most significant poet in Ireland for much of the second half of the 20th century, one whose influence can still be traced in the work of many lead

Collected Poems By Patrick Kavanagh Ed. Antoinette Quinn Allen Lane/Penguin, ?32.99 Hugh McFadden This is an important book. Patrick Kavanagh was not "the greatest Irish poet since Yeats", as he was dubbed: rather, he was the most significant poet in Ireland for much of the second half of the 20th century, one whose influence can still be traced in the work of many leading contemporary Irish poets.

W.B. Yeats was not the one towards whom my generation of poets looked. His was the shadow from which they sought to escape. For many of them, Kavanagh showed the way out of the Celtic mist and the hero posturing of the 'statesman-poet' and 'man of action'. Kavanagh's Irish stew has a much more authentic taste than the Anglo-Irish stew of Yeats and it is much more satisfying as nourishment for the spirit.

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