Learn More

Patrick Kavanagh

(1904 - 1967 / County Monaghan)

Advent


We have tested and tasted too much, lover-
Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.
But here in the Advent-darkened room
Where the dry black bread and the sugarless tea
Of penance will charm back the luxury
Of a child's soul, we'll return to Doom
The knowledge we stole but could not use.

And the newness that was in every stale thing
When we looked at it as children: the spirit-shocking
Wonder in a black slanting Ulster hill
Or the prophetic astonishment in the tedious talking
Of an old fool will awake for us and bring
You and me to the yard gate to watch the whins
And the bog-holes, cart-tracks, old stables where Time begins.

O after Christmas we'll have no need to go searching
For the difference that sets an old phrase burning-
We'll hear it in the whispered argument of a churning
Or in the streets where the village boys are lurching.
And we'll hear it among decent men too
Who barrow dung in gardens under trees,
Wherever life pours ordinary plenty.
Won't we be rich, my love and I, and
God we shall not ask for reason's payment,
The why of heart-breaking strangeness in dreeping hedges
Nor analyse God's breath in common statement.
We have thrown into the dust-bin the clay-minted wages
Of pleasure, knowledge and the conscious hour-
And Christ comes with a January flower.


Submitted by Andrew Mayers

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
6 person liked.
3 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: january, christmas, flower, children, child, god, tree

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Advent by Patrick Kavanagh )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie Jim Behan (12/12/2011 6:42:00 AM)

    The word 'please' omitted from the eighth line of final verse. Unfortunate: -( (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Adrian Mullane (6/14/2010 9:03:00 PM)

    Read this for the 1st time when I at about 15 years old.
    I've never forgotten it so I suppose it made an impression :)

    Absolutely one of my favourite poems of all time. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie James Cadden (7/30/2009 1:57:00 AM)

    Read this poem a lietime and you will never understand the imagery to make the poem come to life you need trodded on the clay and looked oer the hills with unassuming eyes filled with wonder with the awe of a child looking through heaven's gable. (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  3. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  4. The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  7. A Life-Lesson, James Whitcomb Riley
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  9. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  10. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe

Poem of the Day

poet James Whitcomb Riley

There! little girl; don't cry!
They have broken your doll, I know;
And your tea-set blue,
And your play-house, too,
Are things of the long ago;
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. I Scream, Michael P. McParland
  2. If We Were Good......., Sandra Feldman
  3. Consolation, Tony Adah
  4. Goodnight Kiss, Michael P. McParland
  5. Marshes Of Life, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  6. What I Dream And What I Find, Amitava Sur
  7. Waves Within...., Umasree Raghunath
  8. Children of Peshawar! My heart bleeds fo.., Umasree Raghunath
  9. A History Of The Future- What's THAT? ? .., Bri Edwards
  10. Epistle therefrom Death, Sir Toby Moses
[Hata Bildir]