Patrick Kavanagh

Literary Birthday – 21 October – Patrick Kavanagh

Patrick Kavanagh was born 21 October 1904, and died 30 November 1967.


  1. A man innocently dabbles in words and rhymes and finds that it is his life.
  2. My advice is this, do whatever pleases yourself. These things don’t matter. What does matter is that if you have anything worth while in you, any talent, you should deliver it. Nothing must turn you from that.
  3. Women, never have got full credit for their bravery, they sacrifice everything to life. (Tarry Flynn)
  4. Parochialism and provincialism are direct opposites. A provincial is always trying to live by other people’s loves, but a parochial is self-sufficient.
  5. A man is original when he speaks the truth that has always been known to all good men.
  6. The question of technique is not simply a matter of grammar and syntax or anything as easy as that. It has to do with the mystical. Real technique is a spiritual quality, a condition of mind, or an ability to invoke a particular condition of mind.
  7. Malice is only another name for mediocrity.
  8. A sweeping statement is the only statement worth listening to. The critic without faith gives balanced opinions, usually about second-rate writers.
  9. To know fully even one field or one land is a lifetime’s experience. In the world of poetic experience it is depth that counts, not width. A gap in a hedge, a smooth rock surfacing a narrow lane, a view of a woody meadow, the stream at the junction of four small fields – these are as much as a man can fully experience.

Patrick Kavanagh was an Irish poet and novelist. His best known works include the novel, Tarry Flynn and the poems, On Raglan Road  and  The Great Hunger.

Source for quotes: Brainyquotes, Goodreads and others.

Image:,_National_Wax_Museum_Plus,_Dublin.jpg   Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg), CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 21st October 2014