I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Grand Canal

Twelve hours of sleep and four cups of strong Irish tea with breakfast turned out to be all that I needed to regain my bearings, and I walked miles across Dublin today, hands jammed in my pockets, nose running from the cold, but wanting to see everything while I could.

This is the Grand Canal, where a statue of Patrick Kavanagh sits in perpetual peaceful observation. The towpath was an unexpected oasis, and I sat on the bench one over from Mr Kavanagh and watched the water and the moorhens until the chill from the metal ate through to my bones and I had to walk again.

There were a dozen or so stands straddling the canal a few hundred feet away, selling Thai food and burritos and bratwurst along with the Cornish pasties and grilled lamb you'd expect. And though part of me just wanted to be snarky about the selection and mutter There's nowhere that isn't everywhere anymore, I was grateful enough for a hot sandwich to warm my hands on.

But I loved being in a country that honors its poets (well, eventually - Kavanagh's neighbors in County Monaghan were not exactly respectful of his literary aspirations.) There are huge posters of Yeats everywhere, and amid the buskers and the shoppers on Grafton Street, there was a man selling books of poetry.

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