The Development of the Poet


About this Item

Poets Brendan Kennelly and Seamus Heaney compare the poetry of Kavanagh's earlier and later life.

  • Title
    Gentle Tiger
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Brendan Kennelly
    Seamus Heaney
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Clip title
    The Development of the Poet
  • Extended description

    Poets Brendan Kennelly and Seamus Heaney compare the poetry of Kavanagh's earlier and later life. Kennelly notes that Kavanagh's later poetry moves away from satire but shows a man who has survived and gone deeper within himself to see the good within people.

    Heaney explains why it is not necessary to make value judgements between the work of Kavanagh in his thirties and the poet's work written when in his fifties as it's a "wonderfully developing thing".

    "...What the later poetry is, is the story of a soul..." (Brendan Kennelly)

    Kennelly describes how if a poet reaches old age, there occurs a simplicity or a distillation of the confusion of the poets earlier life. For Kennelly, Kavanagh's work develops through stages, from anger and embitterment in his earlier work, to an element of optimism in his later work.

  • Information

    'Gentle Tiger' marks the twentieth anniversary of the death of poet and novelist, Patrick Kavanagh. 'Gentle Tiger' is a documentary in which his widow Katherine, brother Peter, neighbours and friends put their memories of Patrick Kavanagh on record. Poets George Barker, Séamus Heaney and Paul Durcan, Professors Denis Donoghue and Brendan Kennelly are among the contributors.

    The documentary includes photographs and documents from the Kavanagh Archive in UCD, archive material from Adrian Cronin's film of Patrick Kavanagh, and footage taken by John Ryan, on Bloomsday 1954.

    'Gentle Tiger' was produced by Tom McCardle and was broadcast on 30 November 1987.

  • Local keywords
    Patrick Kavanagh, Poet, Poetry, Gentle Tiger, Brendan Kennelly, Seamus Heaney
  • Geographical coverage
  • Topic
    Arts and Culture
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • First broadcast channel
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  • Country of production
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  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
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  • Item type
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  • Language used
    English (eng)
  • Original language
    English (eng)