Brendan Kennelly is one of Ireland’s best-loved poets. He is very much ‘the people’s poet’; a man with great intellect, humour and the most wonderful dimpled smile.
His poem A Happy Life is one which often makes me stop and think.
A Happy Life
What constitutes a happy life?
Enough money to meet your needs
a comfortable fire
a clear distance from law
a minimum of city business
a peaceful mind and a healthy body
simple wisdom and firm friends
enjoyable dinners and plain living
nights free from care
a virtuous wife who’s not a prude
enough sleep to make the darkness short
contentment with the life you have,
avoiding the sneer, the poisoned sigh;
no fear of death
and no desire to die.
( from: Brendan Kennelly, Martial Art , 2003)