Wikipedia Poem, No. 360

“Clay is the word and clay is the flesh” Patrick Kavanagh
       a child 
made me see

the light grew dim 

of one small 
  primrose       flowering in flame

   moments to find
    one small primrose holy ghosting 

    my sign i read 

it is said 
        i will   never find

one small primrose then wealth 
          it is said one small page 

a tear and a seer the holy ghost 
in the lenses of a         chair and a tree

       ghost     in flame 
moments to heaven       and the glass stars 

         the light was 
          very beautiful 
       and kind

here was its 

a tear one small primrose 
flowers in the 

the         lenses of a tree
      light was but the shadow of a chair
truth’s manuscript made 
see wonders nevermore hanged

“Primrose” by Patrick Kavanagh



Upon a bank I sat, a child made seer
Of one small primrose flowering in my mind.
Better than wealth it is, said I, to find
One small page of Truth’s manuscript made clear.
I looked at Christ transfigured without fear—
The light was very beautiful and kind,
And where the Holy Ghost in flame had signed
I read it through the lenses of a tear.
And then my sight grew dim, I could not see
The primrose that had lighted me to Heaven,
And there was but a shadow of a tree
Ghostly among the stars. The years that pass
Like tired soldiers nevermore have given
Moments to see wonders in the grass.


Source & further reading:
Kavanagh, Patrick. "Primrose." Collected Poems. New York: W. W. Norton, 1964. Print, p. 75.
Fitts, Dudley. "Loving Evocation of Irish Life." New York Times, 24 August 1947. Web.
Garratt, Robert F., "Patrick Kavanagh and the Killing of the Irish Revival." 
            Colby Library Quarterly, Volume 17, no.3, September 1981. Web.