A View of God and the Devil

I met God the Father in the street

And the adjectives by which I would describe him are these:



Irresponsible –

About frivolous things

He was not a man who would be appointed to a Board

Nor impress a bishop

Or gathering of art-lovers.


He was not splendid, fearsome or terrible

And yet not insignificant.

This was my God who made the grass

And the sun

And stones in streams in April;

This was the God I met

In an old quarry full of dandelions.

This was the God I met in Dublin

As I wandered the unconscious streets.


This was the God that brooded over the harrowed field –

Rooney’s – beside the main Carrick road

The day my first verses were printed –

I knew Him and was never afraid

Of death or damnation

And I knew that the fear of God was the beginning of folly.


The Devil

I met the Devil too,

And the adjectives by which I would describe him are these:




He was a man the world would appoint to a Board,

He would be on the list of invitees for a bishop’s garden party,

He looked like an artist.


He was the fellow who wrote in newspapers about music,

Got into a rage when someone laughed;

He was serious about unserious things;

You had to be careful about his inferiority-complex

For he was conscious of being uncreative.

– Patrick Kavanagh