Sunday, May 2, 2021

On Raglan Road - By Patrick Kavanagh

This one was loaded by Patrick Thomas Howard and a visit to his youtube site I'd suggest to view the credits or indeed to read the comments. I remember visiting the Newgrange site in County Meath many years ago and asking the girl in the bookshop there what poetry books she'd recommend and she replied that the Americans were only interested in either Kavanagh or Yeats. Kavanagh was indeed a genius and little recognized for such in his lifetime and certainly not rewarded for it. Local connection as well in that Hilda brought him down to Dunsany to see if the Lord would act as patron. It didn't work out but he wrote a poem about it. Check it out. Enjoy. With thanks to all involved in the video above. Something for the May Bank Holiday weekend.   

* Back with a little time.
The above was first published as a poem in The Irish Press on 3rd of October 1946 (Wikipedia) and has its critics because of the repetition of words and the odd phrasing. Also noting from the comments that the seventh line has been changed from the original. Read from the page it is easy to find flaws but I think Kavanagh himself said somewhere that it was originally conceived as a musical piece and as such it is stunning. Luke Kelly in his recording knocks a few corners off and doing so in my humble opinion improves it greatly. There are those who find fault also with the last verse but that is to take a couple of lines out of context of what could be said to be the more important meaning or part of and what Kavanagh intended with regard to interpretation, you'll have to ask him! But as the great Leonard said, "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in". So be sure to bring your dark glasses!

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