On Raglan Road Recitation
Wednesday 4 December 2013, 6 p.m. section
- Patrick Kavanagh was born in 1904 in Inniskeen, County Monaghan
- He quit school at a young age to work on his family's farm and become an apprentice shoemaker to his father
- He did not enjoy the farm life and decided to move to Dublin to pursue a writing career where his passion for poetry would be appreciated
- On Raglan Road is about Kavanagh's affair with a 22-year-old student named Hilda Moriarty when he was 40 years old
- One of the reasons the relationship failed was because of the large age difference
- The poem was first set to music by Luke Kelly of the Dubliners
- The song has been covered by many Irish singers and was featured in the 2008 film, In Bruges
- Style: four stanzas; sixteen lines that have rhyming pairs with two rhyming lines per stanza; a mix of colloquial and poetic language
Dark hair that I might one day rue
- Sees this beautiful woman and is aware of the danger she presents, but still decides to cast away his rational thoughts for matters of the heart
- He is fully aware that he is being reckless but he cannot help himself
- The initial stages of the romance are exciting and pleasant as the couple
tripped lightly on Grafton street
- However Kavanagh senses that his first instincts may be right and that the relationship might be coming to an end as they approach a
- The reference to
Queen of Hearts reveals that there is a lack of reciprocation of affection from the girl; he cares more about the relationship than she does
- He discusses how he passed on his knowledge and wrote poems for her, utilizing the symbols of other poets and sculptors
- There is a sense of imminent doom as he brings up her dark hair, but this time to describe the
clouds over fields of May, representative of the dark times ahead
- It is implied that the relationship is over at this point, when he mentions
old ghosts, and his former lover now avoids him
- He comes to the realization that the woman was
made of clay and that she was simply human — not something to idolize and waste his efforts on
- Comparing himself to an
angel that has lost his wings, Kavanagh feels that he has lost his ability to write poetry and was distracted from his true passion
- What does this poem say about the dangers of love?
- How does love affect his overall happiness?
- What does Kavanagh have to say about the importance of poetry, and how it separates him from people who don't have a literary background?
- How does this poem connect to some of Yeats poems regarding unrequited love, such
When You are Old or
Who Goes with Fergus?