Patrick Kavangh’s earlier works such as ‘Inishkeen Road: July Evening’, demonstrate the poet’s sense of isolation and frustration. ‘Inishkeen Road’ is a particularly good example of this as it is about the difficult existence of the poet and his desire to attend the country dance in ‘Billy Brennan’s barn’. I could understand the poet’s feelings here because as a teenager in Ireland today the main goal is to ‘fit in’ with ones peers. ‘I have what every poet hates in spite of solemn talk of contemplation’, I really admire the poet’s honesty here as he expresses his sense of isolation and the feeling that he is different from all the others in Co. Monaghan. The sibilance in the line ‘a footfall tapping secrecies of stone’ is wonderfully evocative. I could empathise with Kavanagh here. He felt that he was missing the key to unlocking the meaning of ‘the wink-and-elbow language of delight’ and the ‘half-talk code of mysteries’. This is a universal theme as it is something that all young people fear.
Kavangh employs a wonderful and effective allusion in the third line of the second stanza, ‘Oh, Alexander Selkirk knew the plight of being king and government and nation’. This is a fantastic image of a man stranded on an island completely alone