A Happy Life ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 7

Brendan Kennelly
Brendan Kennelly

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 
steady work 
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)