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Blue Room
June 2013

Half-Day Warriors

John Kavanagh

ISBN: 1 897648 55 3

Page Count: 64

Publication Date: Friday, January 01, 1999

Cover Artwork: Brenda Dermody

About this Book

Half-Day Warriors is the second collection from Listowel Writers' Week prizewinner, John Kavanagh.  Fintan O'Toole described Kavanagh's first collection, Etchings (Salmon, 1991), as 'a graceful entrance ... a pen that seems to seek the escape of romanticism only to be denied it by a knowledge of the way of the world which will not allow for false escape routes.  The tension between that desire and that knowledge gives these poems a drama all of their own'.  With Half-Day Warriors John Kavanagh brings to his readers a maturing and developing talent, with which he continues to explore his favourite themes: the energies and impulses, the gains and losses of love; a highly developed awareness of a sense of place in the post-modern world; and, a growing awareness of the tension between inner and outer, private and public worlds.

Author Biography

John Kavanagh was born in Sligo in 1960.  He works as a Laboratory Technician at the Sligo Institute of Technology.  He is a winner of the Poetry Prize at Listowel Writers' Week, 1988.  Half-Day Warriors is his second collection, his first Etchings, also published by Salmon, appeared in 1991.  He is also a playwright and author of No Comet Seen among other works for the stage.  Presently he is at work on a third collection, a book length meditation on the character, themes and incidents of the TŠin.

Read a sample from this book


for Matt O'Dowd

On days when the moon is in fall and all is dark,
the sites of pilgrimage are plundered,
the gates of sanctuaries forced
and everything that is magical and sacred
is stripped down to barograph and histogram
by masters of the single vision.

Then, those who feel fatigued and faceless,
bronchitic with the weight of life
and the living of it, stumble breathlessly on
lactic with unreasonable expectation,
rained on by cacophony of signal and noise
from satellite and microchip

or paralysed by guilt
from vocation ignored or sin
too readily committed while traversing the path
wearily await poultice and panacea
and awakening from Newton's dreary sleep.

© Copyright John Kavanagh 1999

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