Monday, August 24, 2009

Canal, Kavanagh and the Reeds

It's interesting that this scene is in Dublin's inner city. Poet Patrick Kavanagh would have known it well, since he used to sit along the banks of the Grand Canal, across from the Mespil Road. The oft quoted words are "O commemorate me with no hero-courageous/ Tomb -- just a canal-bank seat for the passer-by." During the week, the canal bank is alive with office workers but at the weekend it's a lovely spot to sit and read the Sunday newspapers. It was the reeds that made the photograph though. Resilient, flexible, tenacious and fragile, they adorn stretches of the canal. They are believed to be protective and cleansing but I most like them as the image of the soul and indeed - a voice. Ukranians say that the reed that grows from the grave of a drowned man will name his murderer if it is made into a pipe.