Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Paradise by Way of Kensal Green (and the Regent's Canal)

Sunday's Towpath Walk finds Roger on poetic form…

“‘Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,
The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road…

My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage,
Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame of age,
But walk with clearer eyes and ears this path that wandereth,
And see undrugged in evening light the decent inn of death;
For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,
Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.’

By the time G.K. Chesterton penned these lines, Kensal Green Cemetery had been the doyen of London’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ for over two generations. Following two Royal funerals , its reputation was such that the list of notables buried there reads like a roll-call of the nineteenth century. Small wonder, then, that some spectacular monuments are among the 140 Grade 2 listed structures there.

Little Venice was given its name by an author. And several poets lived here or were moved to poetry by it. Indeed, the waterway lake and junction at the heart of Little Venice is known as ‘Browning’s Pool’, and Browning is commemorated here by a sculpture.

Come and hear about the others, and a lot else besides, on this Sunday’s Walk.

The Kensal Green Cemetery – Grand Union Canal – Little Venice Walk meets at Kensal Green tube station this Sunday 20th June at 2.30 p.m.”

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