Lines Written on a Seat on the Grand Canal, Dublin, ‘Erected to the Memory of Mrs Dermot O’Brien’

Lines Written on a Seat on the Grand Canal, Dublin, ‘Erected to the Memory of Mrs Dermot O’Brien’ is a famous poem by Patrick Kavanagh.

Ireland’s 100 favourite poems
Patrick Kavanagh

The poem looks at how a memorial bench on the Grand Canal pays tributes to someone’s life.

Lines Written on a Seat on the Grand Canal, Dublin, ‘Erected to the Memory of Mrs Dermot O’Brien’ by Patrick Kavanagh. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Lines Written on a Seat on the Grand Canal, Dublin, ‘Erected to the Memory of Mrs Dermot O’Brien’

O commemorate me where there is water,
Canal water, preferably, so stilly
Greeny at the heart of summer. Brother
Commemorate me thus beautifully
Where by a lock niagarously roars
The falls for those who sit in the tremendous silence
Of mid-July. No one will speak in prose
Who finds his way to these Parnassian islands.
A swan goes by head low with many apologies,
Fantastic light looks through the eyes of bridges –
And look! a barge comes bringing from Athy
And other far-flung towns mythologies.
O commemorate me with no hero-courageous
Tomb – just a canal-bank seat for the passer-by.

Lines Written on a Seat on the Grand Canal, Dublin, ‘Erected to the Memory of Mrs Dermot O’Brien’ by Patrick Kavanagh. Image copyright Ireland Calling
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