This Sort of Thing...


Patrick Kavanagh and Me



I’ve got to give a bit of credit for the first line of this to the late Mr Patrick Kavanagh of 62 Pembroke Road, Dublin. It’s from his poem Canal Bank Walk, written in 1954.


Leafy-with-love banks and the green waters of the canal pouring redemption for me…

Which is why I come here from time to time to clear a space for myself as best I can sitting on your bench with your memorial statue of yourself God rest your soul and I hope you don’t mind me calling you Pat while I’m chatting away to you about all the things I’ve ever wanted to say since nineteen seventy-two which was the year I discovered you existed and the admiration began though you were already in the clay five years by then and wasn’t it shameful your Hilda going off with her man like that but only the swans can hear my words now if they’re even listening at all which I doubt because they’ve fresh tadpoles and half a discarded Saturday night burger lined up to be breakfasted upon.

Isn’t it a shame we couldn’t have gone for a jar or two sometime but maybe that’s not such a clever idea because I’d be jabbering away like a star-struck eejit especially with the drink in me telling you what a great fella you were and how I wish I could write the poetry like yourself though your one The Great Hunger goes on a bit in its powerful sadness but I’d never be able to master the craft so I won’t even attempt to write your way which will become apparent to you from these words if you’re even reading them at all which I doubt because you’ll have foaming pints lined up on the bar in front of you and the downing of which will need to be concentrated upon wherever it is you might be just now.  

I’d never want your man Behan to go getting jealous or fractious about our great friendship so after the talking I have with you I always wander up to his canal on the north side and sit on his bench with his memorial statue of himself by the gaol God rest his soul and call him the hero but I could never write like himself because I’ve no alarm clock or prison cell or rake of champagne and sherry to inspire me and he’d notice from this that I’ve nothing to say for myself but only regrets that I didn’t spend half my life sitting at the water’s edge throwing old bread at the swans and writing paraphernalia that might be considered a terrible beauty by the critics one day if he’s even seen this at all because he’s things lined up to be going jingle jangle with all along the banks of that canal of his with its huge historical significance and rusty shopping trolleys and empty Carlsberg cans.

Wouldn’t it just be grand if the three of us could all sit and enjoy a glass together over there in Searson’s where I know the pair of you were barred out of the place for something you said or spilt or threw at each other long ago in the rare oul’ times but you know they’ve statues of you both on display by the door there now just near the jacks which is a disgrace since they threw you out but now they’re stuffing their pockets with euro from the people like me who go there to sit in the seats once warmed by the now famous arses of the likes of yourselves seven decades past if I’ve the time to sit down at all because I’ve a dozen or more bronze sculptures lined up to have the conversations with and I’m sure those James Joyce and William Butler Yeats fellas are wondering where in the name of Jaysis I’ve got to.


Patrick Kavanagh and Me

Number of comments: 1

23/11/2023 12:20:14 - Patrick

Ye durty drunken skoyte!
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