Ireland’s True National Poet

I’m not Irish, save for my great-grandmother McDermott’s Mayo-Manchester blood.

I’m not Irish, save for my great-grandfather Kelly’s London-Irish blood.

My class in primary school had a mix of English and Irish origin surnames, roughly fifty-fifty. But everyone in Lancashire has some kind of Irish lineage if you look back far enough.

The reality is I’m English and in no position to tell the Irish nation that they have chosen the wrong national poet.

Blur versus Oasis, John v Paul, Will Grigg or Nick Powell, Yeats or Kavanagh?

Who says you can’t have both? Is it ‘or’ or rather the ‘genius of the and’?

I choose Kavanagh and his lonely farmer masturbating into the fire, a day at the Cabra races, coping with alcoholism, and a God who refuses to take failure for an answer.

Kavanagh’s great hunger I can emphasise with. Mister Yeat’s finery I can’t. I’m a big Waterboys fan. Mike Scott loves his Yeats. ‘Stolen Child’ is a great album closer. But you can’t beat ‘God in Woman’ or ‘To be Dead.’

Yeats is ethereal; Kavanagh is flesh real.

Yeats is a wordsmith; Kavanagh’s got soul.

Yeats is clever; Kavanagh is wise.

Morrissey has Wilde on his side, but Kavanagh is on mine.

Yeats is Enya; Kavanagh is Sinead.

‘Arguments that cannot be proven,’ as someone wise once said.

 

 

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