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ISBN: 978 1 857546 46 0
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: October 2004
216 x 135 x 4 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
P.J. Kavanagh's poems are the fruit of lifelong observation of the natural world and of human foibles, and the insights to which such meditative alertness leads. His poems are a wry and optimistic celebration of seasons and enduring friendships, the small pleasures of cricket commentaries, a blackbird's song - above all, of growth towards simplicity and wisdom, the sudden visitations of happiness that transfigure the commonplace.
From reviews of P.J. Kavanagh's Collected Poems
'There is plenty of quietly glittering intellect in these poems... he has an eye for rural things, birds, plants, weather; all are subdued to the colour of his own mind, its knowledge of loss, its recurrent perception of the world as a place to which it belongs and does not belong... this collection amply demonstrates Kavanagh's distinguished place among contemporary poets.'
Praise for P.J. Kavanagh 'There is plenty of quietly glittering intellect in these poems... he has an eye for rural things, birds, plants, weather; all are subdued to the colour of his own mind, its knowledge of loss, its recurrent perception of the world as a place to which it belongs and does not belong... this collection amply demonstrates Kavanagh's distinguished place among contemporary poets.' Frank Kermode on Collected Poems '[P.J. Kavanagh possesses] that quality of sheer readability... ' Vernon Scannell Though in many ways an obvious successor to Edward Thomas... PJKavanagh has also much in common with Louis MacNeice, an essentially private and autobiographical poet... Kavanagh displays the same talent for a conversational tone, and shares MacNeice's fondness for rhyme, his love of echoes... he employs traditional forms while allowing himself a relaxed freedom regarding line-length and metre (not to be mistaken for a lack of craft). The parallels should not be overstressed, however; Kavanagh is decidedly his own man with his own interestsand concerns. For one thing, religion takes the place of politics for him, though his attitude to belief reveals something of that critical fastidiousness MacNeice maintained towards the political orthodoxies of his day... Simon Rae [on Presences]
Simon Darragh, The London Magazine , April/May 2005
...There read more
Jim Burns, Ambit , May 2005
There are some lines in the first poem in this book that struck home and made me conscious of my own situation (getting older) and the way in which I often think I see someone from the past who, in fact, turns out to be another person:
Was it the blouse-and-skirt combination, the cut Of the fair hair of the near-silhouette Against the shining sea, that made me peer and stare? read more
Sally Festing, Magma 31, Spring 2005
P.J. read more
Reviewed in the Spectator by Lloyd Evans
[...] read more
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