Inniskeen Road, July Evening

Inniskeen Road, July Evening by Patrick Kavanagh was voted Ireland’s 30th favourite poem by readers of the Irish Times in 1999.

Ireland’s 100 favourite poems
Patrick Kavanagh

It is about a village barn that is the venue for a dance for the locals, a scenario which would’ve been a common occurrence during Kavanagh’s youth.

Kavanagh also touches upon his feelings of loneliness and isolation as a poet.

Inniskeen Road, July Evening by Patrick Kavanagh. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Inniskeen Road, July Evening

The bicycles go by in twos and threes –
There’s a dance in Billy Brennan’s barn tonight,
And there’s the half-talk code of mysteries
And the wink-and-elbow language of delight.
Half-past eight and there is not a spot
Upon a mile of road, no shadow thrown
That might turn out a man or woman, not
A footfall tapping secrecies of stone.

I have what every poet hates in spite
Of all the solemn talk of contemplation.
Oh, Alexander Selkirk knew the plight
Of being king and government and nation.
A road, a mile of kingdom. I am king
Of banks and stones and every blooming thing.

Inniskeen Road, July Evening by Patrick Kavanagh. Image copyright Ireland Calling
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Ireland's 100 favourite poems

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