Patrick Kavanagh believed that following his illness in 1955 he was reborn as a poet. He explains how he had a revelation while lying on the banks of the canal and his belief that little he wrote before was poetry.

Quoting from his own poetry Kavanagh offers his explanation of what makes a poet.

"...And so it was on the banks of the Grand Canal between Baggot and Leeson Street Bridges in the warm summer of 1955, I lay and watched the green waters of the canal. I had just come out of hospital:

Leafy-with-love banks and the green waters of the canal
Pouring redemption for me, that I do
The will of God, will wallow in the habitual, the banal,
Grow with nature again as before I grew.

And so, in this moment of great bearing, I became a poet..."