Short journey upriver toward Ōishida
In Roo Borson’s new watershed collection, it is as though language were being taught to increase its powers of concentration, to hearken simultaneously to the fully impinged-upon senses, the reflecting mind with its griefs and yearnings, the heart with its burden of live memory. Always “the line bends as the river bends,” a quick ever-adjusting music that carries in its current those cherished, perishable, details of eye and ear, mid-life reflections on loss and home, the subtle shifts in season suddenly made strange and re-awakened. Recurrently, probingly, the line returns to the place of poetry in our lives. In the spirit of Basho’s famous journey to the far north, Borson’s “short journey” reminds us of the role of poetry in shaping and deepening our engagement with the world.
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Andy Patton Arrowroot Autumn Record Basho beneath beside birds blackberries blossoms blue cherry tree colour comes cool coots crickets dark dawn daydream dead death deciduous Deep North door dream ducks dusk Earl Miner early everything feeling fruits George gods gone goodbye green Green College heart Japan Kim Maltman leaf leaves light little girl lived looked magpie Mogami River morning mother mother's garden move Narrow Road never night old railway bridge once Osaka past petals picked plant room poems and flowers poetry police dog railing rain ROO BORSON Saigyo seemed Short Journey Upriver shut silk sleep smell someone Sora sound standing stood Summer Grass summer river swans Tanizaki's story things Torrens turn Upriver Toward Oishida waiting wake walking wanted willow wind window winter words write yellow Yoshino young