Sir, – The only thing missing from Frank McNally’s whitethorn rhapsody in yesterday’s Irishman’s Diary (May 23rd) is the acknowledgement of his own Monaghan poet Patrick Kavanagh’s desire to “be alive” each year when “April’s ecstasy dances in every whitethorn tree”.
For the poet, the scent of whitethorn inspired a new belief in life. Twenty years later, although ridiculed by those who saw him as an innocent abroad in Dublin, Kavanagh was confident that his immortality as a poet was assured by a lifetime’s inspiration derived from his native “whitethorn hedges”. For him, they were “love’s doorway to life”! – Yours, etc,
Dr UNA AGNEW,