Martin Green
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Patrick Swift - A Memoir
Martin Green(writer, editor and publisher)

...Anthony Cronin, fresh over from his adventures in France with Brendan Behan, was a newcomer to the circle, and it was shortly after meeting him that I first recall ever meeting Patrick Swift...
I find trying to adhere to any kind of chronological sequence in a memoir such as this, difficult and distracting, but it was in that basement flat that Patrick Kavanagh sheltered on and off for a while. And it is the mention of Kavanagh that brings back to me that infectious gaiety and generosity that is at the heart of my memory of Paddy Swift... It was he, together with Tony Cronin, who initially put up the idea of bringing together Kavanagh's poems for the Collected Poems, for which the author finally thanked me ungrudgingly in his Introduction to that most arduous of tasks. For Paddy Swift, above all, had a profound belief in the value of poetry, and of the poet as a maker... In the world in which we all moved at that time, I used to be curious as to the detachment Paddy showed to the market place, at his indifference to the fashionable galleries where Freud and Bacon were the beckoning lights, along with Frank Auerbach; it was as if he'd taken Joyce's Stephen Daedalus to heart — that once the work is created, it is no longer anything to do with the artist, who simply stands aside and pares his nails.
Paddy Swift had a catalytic enthusiasm that ignited a response elsewhere. I remember being introduced by him to John McGahern, then a shy, red-faced young teacher in the East End of London. I read his first novel, which I recommended for publication but was overruled, and, on being asked by him who he should turn to, told him to go to Faber & Faber... It was he who brought to my attention the Charles Sisson version of Catullus, which I subsequently published, when I still worked as a publisher. It was he who helped to find a publisher for Brian Higgins, whose short and savage life at the hands of literary London began with the Swift's generous hospitality in that same basement flat in Westbourne Terrace. And it was here, in the midst of the chaos of family life with small children and impecunious friends, that Paddy undertook those portraits of poets that have yet to take their place in the artistic record of the times...
I am very grateful to Paddy and to Oonagh of course, for a period I spent with them in the Algarve, shortly after they had moved out there. I learnt things there about the nature of the richness of artistic isolation that have remained with me...
Paddy Swift was the most generous of men in the truest of all possible ways. He knew that all was a distraction that did not lend itself to the creation of what makes life tolerable on earth. He knew, as Paddy Kavanagh knew, how to 'Snatch out of time the passionate transitory'.
— Martin Green (writer, editor and publisher), Gandon Editions, 1993


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Images
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Dublin Oil - Dublin Watercolour/ Ink - Italy - Oakridge/ Ashwell Watercolour - Oakridge/ Ashwell Oil - London Oil - London Watercolour/ Ink - France - Algarve Oil - Algarve Watercolour/ Ink - Self-Portraits - Trees - Portraits I - Portraits II - Porches Pottery - Books - Misc - Algarve Studio
Note: many of the reproductions displayed here are of poor quality
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By Swift
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Nano Reid - Some notes on Caravaggio - Italian Report - The Artist Speaks - X magazine - RHA Exhibition 1951 - E├ža de Queiroz & Fernando Pessoa - The Portuguese Enigma - Notebooks - All
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About Swift
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Main
Patrick Swift: An Irish Painter in Portugal - IMMA 1993 Retrospective Catalogue - Dublin 1950-2 - By His Friends - X magazine - Poems - Further Quotes About - All

By His Friends
Anthony Cronin - John Ryan - John Jordan - C.H.Sisson - Martin Green - John McGahern - David Wright - Lima de Freitas - Katherine Swift - Tim Motion - Lionel Miskin - Jacques D'Arribehaude - Brian Higgins - George Barker - Patrick Kavanagh

Further Quotes
Brian Fallon - Aidan Dunne - Derek Hill - Brendan Behan - Lucian Freud - Patrick Kavanagh - Elizabeth Smart - Further Quotes About
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