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The Canal

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Below is the poem entitled The Canal which was written by poet Mandy Tams The Golden Girl. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Canal

The working navvy did dig deep 
He followed Brindly’s new laid plan
A transport system to complete
A salvation for the labouring man 

As the furrow cut with sweat and maul
With breaking backs and torn sinew
Each man in turn to heave and haul 
Sustenance for starving kin renew

 Tracts of land transform through spade and pick 
 Veins enriching the countryside
Bringing new life, each shovel, each brick 
Levelling earth, raising national pride 

A true revelation this arterial plan
Almost lost through modernisation
Abandoned, grown dense, dispirit man    
As steam and diesel grew within the nation 

Each lock assiduously built 
Before first steam engine’s whistle blew  
Weeds strangle, progressive man’s new guilt 
The canals ebb, debris as seeds strew

More beauteous now than ever been
Our arterial chart of the waterway  
Each torn muscle, victuals did glean
Bed and nourishment for one more day

The navvy’s ghosts look down, heads held high
Their gnarled hands rest in heavenly peace
 Majestic waterways dug in sweat with sigh
A once industrial, now beautiful masterpiece.

© 16/11/2013 GG  Inspired by Harry J Horsmans' 
free verse 'The Cut' which is a colloquial name for a canal

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  1. Date: 3/23/2014 12:07:00 PM
    A journey through history. Canals are so neglected in poetry and yet so fashionable again. Thankis for penning ... Enjoyed

  1. Date: 11/28/2013 7:56:00 PM
    This is highly intellectual. The vocabulary used is superb, the imagery natural and rich, the rhythm accurate and dynamic. You are such a good writer. Bravo! :) G.

  1. Date: 11/21/2013 5:00:00 PM
    So glad you are back in our soup mix I hope you are well! Light & Love

  1. Date: 11/19/2013 7:32:00 PM
    WOW, wonderful great job on this write enjoyed, enjoyed it alot . and thanks for the congrad cheri

  1. Date: 11/19/2013 6:58:00 PM
    We give thanks for their hard works endeavors and dreams, you did a fine tribute here Mandy, big hugs to you xxx

  1. Date: 11/19/2013 6:24:00 PM
    Mandy ..an absolutely wonderful write...I feel like I just watched a lovely documentary... in poetry form...my favorite kind of shows..beautiful poem..

  1. Date: 11/19/2013 5:51:00 PM
    Wow...a great poem inspired another great and powerful piece...I stand in awe of this masterpiece you have crafted!

  1. Date: 11/19/2013 3:54:00 PM
    wow, you were well inspired by harry. He is someone who pays such deep tribute to the common man and you have followed in his footsteps with this poem too. Nicely done!!

  1. Date: 11/19/2013 10:27:00 AM
    wow Mandy, this is so creative, living in skipton which it's self is a canal town,, i can truly relate to this wonder, your last verse sums it up in a nutshell, i really love this ... poetry at its best,, in fact this is living poetry,, and it does not get much better than this....,

  1. Date: 11/18/2013 5:56:00 PM
    Great tribute to the men who built the canals Mandy, the navvies. I'm living next to the cut myself at present. Take care, Richard

  1. Date: 11/18/2013 12:10:00 PM
    - Talk about physical work, and it was real work! - Much toil, sweat and blood. - Nice to read Mandy. - A really good work. - oxox // Anne-Lise :)