Wednesday, November 11

Poetry – getting it right.

One of the best Irish poets is Patrick Kavanagh.  He was a man that wrote about what was close to him, he drew his inspiration from his surroundings, the family farm, the clay and its contradictions.  Clay was the stuff of life, and yet it could smother, and like the contradictions in clay there are contradictions in his life and work, which he tried to reconcile.  Its interesting when listening to writers to hear what it is they draw their inspiration from.  James Ellroy, the other evening in the Waterfront Hall, said he drew his inspiration from American history.  American history has been kind to me, he said.
The best and simplest example of writing  about what is close is Kavanagh's poem 'My Room'.
'My Room', it may be a musty attic but the little window lets in the stars.  Kavanagh doesn't try to describe the stars, he simply describes what is close and the stars illuminate it.  That's getting it right. smile_wink
'My Room'
Ten by twelve
And a low roof
If I stand by the side-wall
My head gets the reproof.

Five holy pictures
Hang on the walls:
The Virgin and Child
St Patrick our own
St Anthony of Padua
Pope Leo XIII and the Little Flower.

My bed in the centre
is many things to me:
A dining table
A writing desk
and a slumber palace.

My room is a musty attic
But its little window
Lets in the stars.
Patrick Kavanagh

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