Michael Harding: A poetry evening made me want to talk to Patrick Kavanagh

I wanted to go to the poet and tell him how beautiful Monaghan can still be

Monaghan poet Patrick Kavanagh. Photograph: The Wiltshire Collection/National Library of Ireland

Monaghan poet Patrick Kavanagh. Photograph: The Wiltshire Collection/National Library of Ireland

I love poetry. From the moment an old typewriter appeared on my 15th birthday, I marvelled at the letters on the keyboard, as I pressed each one, and at the imprint that remained afterwards, firm and inky black on a white sheet of paper. Making poems was physical.

Sinking my fingertips one at a time down on each letter of the keyboard was a sensual act, and the instant appearance of the same letter on the page delighted me as much as the shape of a pot might delight the eyes a ceramic artist.

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