St. P’sPosted: March 17, 2014
The story goes that one day Brendan Behan ran into Patrick Kavanagh on the streets of Dublin. Brendan suggested a drink and unsurprisingly Patrick agreed. Patrick mentioned a nearby pub.
“Ah, can’t do it,” said Brendan. “I’ve been banned from there for life.” Brendan suggested an alternative.
“Ah, can’t be done,” said Patrick, “I’m banned from that one.”
So the two shook hands and went on their way.
Patrick Kavanagh, quite cleverly, wrote a poem describing exactly the kind of statue that ought to be built to commemorate him, and that’s what they built.
The actor Russell Crowe has stated that he is a fan of Kavanagh. He commented “I like the clarity and the emotiveness of Kavanagh. I like how he combines the kind of mystic into really clear, evocative work that can make you glad you are alive”. On 24 February 2002, after he won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in A Beautiful Mind, Crowe quoted Kavanagh during his acceptance speech at the 55th British Academy Film Awards. When he became aware that the Kavanagh quote had been cut from the final broadcast, Crowe became aggressive with the BBC producer responsible, Malcolm Gerrie. He said “it was about a one minute fifty speech but they’ve cut a minute out of it”. The poem that was cut was a four line poem:
To be a poet and not know the trade,
To be a lover and repel all women;
Twin ironies by which great saints are made,
The agonising pincer-jaws of heaven.
In this other picture on his wiki page, painted by Patrick Swift, PK looks a bit like Larry David: Lovelorn, tragic, Patrick Kavanagh wrote the poem which became the lyrics to the song “On Raglan Road,” sung here by the heroically haired Luke Kelly: