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God and Patrick Kavanagh: An Anthology: No Earthly Estate: Patrick Kavanagh's Poems of the Spirit

God and Patrick Kavanagh: An Anthology: No Earthly Estate: Patrick Kavanagh's Poems of the Spirit [Kindle Edition]

Tom Stack
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description


"In this unusual but immensely rewarding book, Tom Stack combines an anthology of Kavanagh's more religiously inflected poems with a series of informed reflection on the poems' theological implication... Stack is remarkably successful"

Product Description

As poets go, Patrick Kavanagh (1904-67) enjoys an exceptionally popular and influential place in the hearts of the Irish public. He offers us a uniquely distilled reflection of ourselves as a people and uncovers for us an intriguing spiritual landscape, both rich and recognisable. In this, his poetry is both original and enduring. It is noteworthy that in Patrick Kavanagh's extant work of published poems, which number 253, no fewer than 138 of these include explicitly religious themes, images or allusions. This means that references to Christian faith, in one way or another, make their appearances in more than half of all his poetic writing. It is for that reason that this collection of poems appears here as an anthology in its own right. Tom Stack offers a commentary on the spiritual content and significance of the sixty poems here selected. This consists of a general introduction to the anthology, together with particular introductions to the three long poems in the collection, The Great Hunger, Lough Derg and Father Mat.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 898 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Columba Press; 3rd edition (2 Oct 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009LL7ED0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #253,490 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By gille liath TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Patrick Kavanagh's poetry has kind of passed me by up to now and I wonder whether it's because, like GM Hopkins, the poems that get into the anthologies aren't really representative. The style and setting here are something like Seamus Heaney's, the detail of everyday life in rural Ireland; but both are transfigured by subject matter more like Hopkins', namely the tortured soul's search for God in an unforgiving world - or at times, the attempt to escape him.

Subtitled 'Poems of the Spirit', these pieces all more less relate to that theme; and although the poet says things that may make an orthodox Catholic uncomfortable, editor Tom Stack is right to say that he maintains an essentially Christian perspective. Those who are allergic to such things, be warned: this is no wishy-washy postmodern pantheism, it's simply Catholicism with reservations. For me, it's poetry after my own heart: intelligible and meaningful, modern but without straining after effect, clever but not arch, making good use of rural imagery without running off to never-never land. Head and heart working effectively together.

Kavanagh once wrote that he was 'never more than half a poet' - meaning he never lived a bohemian life cut off from reality (in fact he worked as a farmer until into his 30s). So maybe that's the reason.

I don't feel that Stack's comments add an awful lot: the poems speak for themselves. But they're easily ignored. This is a great find, and I don't know what took me so long.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important contribution, well worth the price 16 Nov 2012
By Dr. Gregg E. Townsley - Published on
Format:Unknown Binding|Verified Purchase
Thank you Brent Cox, for an important contribution to understanding the 19th (sometimes called the 9th) Tennessee Calvary and, in particular, the life of its leader, Colonel Jacob Barnett Biffle. I'd reached the end of the Internet in research for my third novel, when I came across your publication.

Published in November 1991, Cox's 48 page report, is well annotated and coil bound. If you don't mind your information coming off of a copy machine--personally, I don't care, as long as as it answers my questions, is well documented and complete--you'll find Cox's treatment of the life and military career a helpful contribution to your research or reading. I needed a quick reference to Biffle's recruitment of southern sympathizers and conscripts in western Tennessee. I also needed a description of the cavalry's movements in Tennessee during the war. I hoped for better details, than I'd found in my search, on Biffle's death in Texas. I found all three in this short reference work.

Cox's preface reads: "I would like to express thanks to the descendants of Colonel Jacob Barnett Biffle. Harold, Jake, and Olin Biffle have been a clear inspiration in the writing of this paper. To them, I extend special thanks and would like to express to them personally, 'that it is an honor to know each of you.' I would like to thank Dr. Lonnie Maness at the University of Tennessee at Martin for suggesting I write on Colonel Biffle, and for his deep interest he has placed in me as a student. As I am studying to get my degree, he inspires me and has made it possible for my continuing struggle."

I've known a few historians in my professional career--some of them armchair and others academic. I don't know anything about Brent Cox and where he's ended up after writing this paper, but I appreciate and recommend his contribution.
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