Patrick Kavanagh

(1904 - 1967 / County Monaghan)

On An Apple-Ripe September Morning


On an apple-ripe September morning
Through the mist-chill fields I went
With a pitch-fork on my shoulder
Less for use than for devilment.

The threshing mill was set-up, I knew,
In Cassidy's haggard last night,
And we owed them a day at the threshing
Since last year. O it was delight

To be paying bills of laughter
And chaffy gossip in kind
With work thrown in to ballast
The fantasy-soaring mind.

As I crossed the wooden bridge I wondered
As I looked into the drain
If ever a summer morning should find me
Shovelling up eels again.

And I thought of the wasps' nest in the bank
And how I got chased one day
Leaving the drag and the scraw-knife behind,
How I covered my face with hay.

The wet leaves of the cocksfoot
Polished my boots as I
Went round by the glistening bog-holes
Lost in unthinking joy.

I'll be carrying bags to-day, I mused,
The best job at the mill
With plenty of time to talk of our loves
As we wait for the bags to fill.

Maybe Mary might call round...
And then I came to the haggard gate,
And I knew as I entered that I had come
Through fields that were part of no earthly estate.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Read poems about / on: september, laughter, summer, work, joy, lost, night

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Comments about this poem (On An Apple-Ripe September Morning by Patrick Kavanagh )

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  • Patrick Haughey (11/9/2013 2:16:00 PM)

    I can smell the apples in the orchard, hear the sound of the thresher and see a picture so clear, i am in a time warp. what brilliance (Report) Reply

  • Michael Caroff (7/12/2012 11:28:00 PM)

    This is exquisite and relatable for me, growing up is the pastoral old mountains of western PA where ones youth may well have included the odd chore of aiding a neighbor in the fields. (Report) Reply

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