The Devil by Patrick Kavanagh – from A View of God and the Devil

I met the devil too,

And the adjectives by which I would describe him are these:

Solemn,

Boring,

Conservative.

He was a man the world would appoint to a Board,

He would be on the list of invitees for a bishop’s garden party,

He would look like an artist.

He was the fellow who wrote in newspapers about music,

Got into a rage when someone laughed;

He was serious about unserious things;

You had to be careful about his inferiority complex

For he was conscious of being uncreative.

These two poems together always make me laugh. Patrick Kavanagh (1905-1967), the Monaghan poet who settled in Dublin and wrote so many beautiful and wonderful poems.

From the collected poems by Patrick Kavanagh – on God and the Devil

I met God the Father in the street

And the adjectives by which I would describe him are these:

Amusing

Experimental

Irresponsible –

About frivolous things.

He was not a man who would be appointed to a Board

Nor impress a bishop

Or gathering of art lovers.

He was not splendid, fearsome or terrible

And yet not insignificant.

This was my God who made the grass

And the sun,

And stones in streams in April;

This was the God I met in Dublin

As I wandered the unconscious streets.

This was the God who brooded over the harrowed field –

Rooneys – beside the main Carrick road

The day my first verses were printed –

I knew him and was never afraid

Of death or damnation;

And I knew that the fear of God was the beginning of folly.

I’ll post The Devil tomorrow. I hope you enjoy this and find it interesting. Patrick Kavanagh (1905 -67) was, and still is, one of Irelands most loved poets. A native of Co Monaghan in Ulster, he spent most of his adult life in Dublin, where he was recognised and saluted on the streets.