The Quickening Field – A Poem Collection by Hachikai Mimi

The Quickening FieldThis is my first time reading a book featuring nothing but poem. I thought I give it a try as so many often said that a book full poem is nice to read.

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
Well, well.

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
many hands.
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.

Book details:

Title: Ima ni mo uruotte iku jinchi (The Quickening Field)
Author: Hachikai Mimi
Language: English (translated from Japanese by Juliet Winters Carpenter)
Pages: 93 pages
Rating: 3 books

12 thoughts on “The Quickening Field – A Poem Collection by Hachikai Mimi

  1. LOL re: depth in poetry. I think the vast majority of us don’t really feel the depth so much as whether or not we can understand it at all. I’ve long since decided that most of the poetry I don’t understand isn’t deep at all. It’s just muddy.

    Used to be the only way to find poetry was in printed books. I managed to read a bit here and there along the way. Many modern poets considered big names did nothing for me. Now I find the best poetry online.

    1. 🙂 I honestly don’t know what to say about Poetry. Muddy is quite a good describing word 😉

      I don’t know who are the big names of poetry. I even chose this book randomly out of so many books in the library, all I think about when I picked he book was simply because I wanted to give it a try…you know broaden my reading genre.

      Online poetry sounds fun, I have read some, Many bloggers can make good poems

      1. I ended up taking a handful of classes on poetry when I was in college, but I still don’t get a lot of it. When I go back over some of my own poetry from ages ago, a lot of it is muddy. I can’t even remember what I was trying to get across.

  2. For me, it would be hard to review a poetry collection since I’m not good at deciphering poems. But maybe I should give it a go. Good job

    1. Thank you TBM…yeah it was a difficult job. I really didn’t know what to write. This is the best I can come up with and I am aware of how terrible this review is 😉

  3. It’s hard to review any kind of collection but poems are the hardest. I feel it’s good to share few examples and let people geta feel, tell them whether and why you liked them.
    It’s always a problem with poetry, a lot is hard to understand.
    I liked the lines you shared.

    1. I am glad many find it difficult. I often peek into Parish’s blog and he often review poem collection, he is good with the review…unlike me 😉

      Thank you, those are my favorite lines.

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