Patrick Kavanagh

Having To Live in the Country

Back once again in wild, wet Monaghan Exiled from thought and feeling, A mean brutality reigns: It is really a horrible position to be in And I equate myself with Dante And all who have lived outside civilization. It isn't a question of place but of people; Wordsworth and Coleridge lived apart from the common man, Their friends called on them regularly. Swift is in a somewhat different category He was a genuine exile and his heavy heart Weighed him down in Dublin. Yet even he had compensations for in the Deanery He received many interesting friends And it was the eighteenth century. I suppose that having to live Among men whose rages Are for small wet hills full of stones When one man buys a patch and pays a high price for it That is not the end of his paying. "Go home and have another bastard" shout the children, Cousin of the underbidder, to the young wife of the purchaser. The first child was born after six months of marriage, Desperate people, desperate animals. What must happen the poor priest Somewhat educated who has to believe that these people have souls As bright as a poet's - though I don't, mind, speak for myself.

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