The Quickening Field won the 5th Nakahara Chuya Prize.
I enjoyed reading her poems because they felt like a very short story but I honestly don’t know how to write a review of a poetry book. I know I should have said that her poems are powerful or have depth or something. All I can say is that some of her poems are easy to understand while some of them are very difficult.
There are 15 poems in the book, but I only liked few of them because I could understand them.
My favorite of all is Morning Glory. The poem is like a story seen from 4 points of view. Someone was taking the cat for a walk and saw a girl crying.
The path through bamboo ending at a shrine
appealed to the cat too. Just as
we started down it,
a little girl in a uniform
darted out of the groove,
her name-card and skirt flying,
and ran off in tears.
At the same time, an old man also saw the little girl.
I brought a hatchet, and as I went in
the bamboo crackled.
Next thing I know, right beside me
a little girl jumps up and runs off in tears
The other witnesses were Sparrow and Vines. I like how Hachikai-sensei inserted thoughts of the other beings in her poem. The main person, the old man in the shrine and even a sparrow and vines.
My other favorite is Jumping Over Raindrop Stones. The first few lines straight away grabbed my attention.
When I was young, each night I touched
Not as metaphor, but directly
I like the hands of old people.
They connect to arms and shoulders in a series of hills.
They match the face formed through the years.
The entire body takes on a colonial tinge,
once in a while the hands alone flying
a flag of independence
What do you think? Those lines sound lovely, don’t they?
I am glad I decided to try reading poem collection…it gives new perspective in my reading. I know I will try another collection one of these days and maybe I can write a better review than this 😉
I will close this not-so-good review with a quote from Hachikai-sensei’s words:
Whatever happens to us, we must not cap sensation. Listen carefully: the fruit of your soul will tell you its inimitable rhythm, and you will be sure to know your next direction.