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Collected Poems

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  252 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
The centenary of Patrick Kavanagh's birth in 2004 provides the ideal opportunity to reappraise one of modern Ireland's greatest poets. From a harsh, humble background that he himself described so brilliantly, Kavanagh burst through immense constraints to redefine Irish poetry - a poetry appropriate for a fully independent country, both politically and culturally. Moving be ...more
Paperback, 299 pages
Published August 25th 2005 by Penguin Books (first published October 14th 1964)
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Max McNabb
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was introduced to Kavanagh’s work through several quotations in Christian Wiman’s My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer. Those lines convinced me I had to seek out Kavanagh’s poetry.

Patrick Kavanagh wrote of Irish farm life, which he knew so well, without romantic sentimentality. His poetry revealed undiluted truth, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the abhorrent. This stance and his undisguised disgust at the phonies and parasites of the literary world meant that Kavanagh was
May 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ireland, poetry
A man with no reason or way to sing finds a voice. It's fashionable to knock Patrick these days as another mid-50s Irish bar poet, but his was one of the few live voices coming up from the mine disaster that was pre-60s Ireland. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.
Aug 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Kavanagh's poetry as presented here is an amazing story of a farmer turned poet turned disillusioned voyeur. I strongly recommend his work for any aspiring poet, english teacher, student, or liver of life. He uses a blend of traditional forms with a modernist twist and even subversion of those forms, and his mastery of language and allusion is impeccable.

Of course, most readers probably already know this. If you don't, check him out.
Dec 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: irish-poetry
The quintessential voice of rural Ireland. By turns, angry, nostalgic, satirical, philosophical, romantic or humorous, he never fails to impress and startle.

There are not many who can 'find a star-lovely art/In a dark sod' but Kavanagh does it every time.

Absolute genius and a delight to read.
Aug 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
If you want to understand Ireland, Mr. Kavanaugh's poetry is absolutely essential.
vi macdonald
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Kavanagh's poems succeed where most broetry fails, managing to create work that could be described as 'masculine' while also being rich in imagery and emotion.
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Kavanagh is the third best Irish poet of the 20th century (no shame in coming behind Yeats or Heaney, though he would disagree). Kavanagh published a "Collected Poems" in his lifetime which has a better ratio of good to inconsequential verse, but this new edition features a couple of great long poems ("Lough Derg" and "Why Sorrow?") which were apparently unpublished during his life. The bitterness which Kavanagh constantly vents towards critics and other poets is tiresome, as is the doggerel he ...more
A. Mary
Apr 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish-poetry
Kavanagh has an angry, frustrated voice speaking in resistance to the prevailing notion of his time, that rural, simple, Ireland was the real Ireland. His long poem, "The Great Hunger," obviously has metaphorical value in its allusion to An Gorta Mor, but it is the story of a miserable clay-scrabbling man. The poem might be read along with William Trevor's short story, "The Hill Bachelors," as explorations of Irish men sacrificed to Ireland.
Michael Arnold
Nov 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I really liked reading this. It's always interesting to read a new poet.
Jun 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'm glad I didn't go to school in Ireland and have to study and memorize Kavanagh. Self-assigned reading is much more fun.
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Patrick Kavanagh was an Irish poet and novelist. Regarded as one of the foremost poets of the 20th century, his best known works include the novel Tarry Flynn and the poems "On Raglan Road" and "The Great Hunger". He is known for accounts of Irish life through reference to the everyday and commonplace.

When the Irish Times compiled a list of favourite Irish poems in 2000, ten of his poems were in t
More about Patrick Kavanagh...
“A man innocently dabbles in words and rhymes and finds that it is his life” 2 likes
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