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Canal Bank Walk, by Patrick Kavanagh – Analysis – Top Irish Poem

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I have really enjoyed reading a new Irish poem every week! I hope you have as well. If this is your first time stopping by my top Irish poems list be sure to subscribe to my weekly dose of Irish where I send them out straight to your inbox every Friday. 

Another short but powerful Irish poem. It comes in at number 8 on the top 100 Irish poems.

Patrick Kavanagh wrote this poem after recovering from lung cancer in 1954. Kavanagh used to take walks along the Canal bank in Dublin after treatment. 

The Canal Bank Walk is in Dublin City is on the banks of the Grand Canal between Portabello and Mount Street. It is a beautiful stretch of walkway, with leafy green trees and gorgeous benches.

This is a beautiful unhurried poem in which the poet’s emotions and a new lease on life shine through. 

Canal Bank Walk by Patrick Kavanagh

Leafy-with-love banks and the green waters of the canal
Pouring redemption for me, that I do
The will of God, wallow in the habitual, the banal,
Grow with nature again as before I grew.
The bright stick trapped, the breeze adding a third
Party to the couple kissing on an old seat,
And a bird gathering materials for the nest for the Word
Eloquently new and abandoned to its delirious beat.
O unworn world enrapture me, encapture me in a web
Of fabulous grass and eternal voices by a beech,
Feed the gaping need of my senses, give me ad lib
To pray unselfconsciously with overflowing speech
For this soul needs to be honoured with a new dress woven
From green and blue things and arguments that cannot be proven.

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