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.
ROO BORSON has published thirteen previous books of poems, including Rain; road; an open boat and Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida, winner of the Governor General’s Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and the Griffin Poetry Prize. She has also won awards for… More about Roo Borson
People Who Read Short Journey Upriver toward Oishida Also Read
Inspired by Your Browsing History
“Roo Borson invites us to embark on a meditative, imaginative and spiritual journey. This book has a profound inner life. It is resonant and whole, moving with quiet, apparently easy steps into the depth of human experience.” –Jury citation, Governor General’s Award
In poetry, few things matter so much as a hungry eye, a fresh way of responding to the world… Roo Borson is a true original.” –Maclean’s
“She’s become one of the best-known Canadian poets of her generation. She’s a clear writer, clear-minded, with a dark and musical imagination.” –Washington Post “She absorbs one totally, dissolving the conventional distinctions between body, mind, and heart.” –Globe and Mail
“To read her poetry is to make an exhilarating discovery.” –Toronto Star
Governor General’s Literary Award – PoetryWINNER 2004
Griffin Poetry PrizeWINNER 2005
Trillium Book AwardFINALIST
This book was written over a number of years, much of it while walking along a stretch of the River Torrens in South Australia, where, with my friend, Kim Maltman, I’d been spending months at a time on successive trips. It was the middle of my life, and as I walked I thought about whatever came to mind – events of the day, memories, various personal preoccupations – all the while accompanied (or so it felt) by presences: works of music and literature that had been so important to me it was as though they had never left my side (the book’s title derives from one of these). As each day’s musings were worn away in the rhythms of walking, those same rhythms gave rise to another kind of thinking, attentive to the near-at-hand. The Torrens is overhung in places with willow, eucalyptus, and acacia, and many kinds of birds can be seen coming and going along its banks. It was this, I thought – a direct awareness of being in the world – that remains in the works we love, at once public and intimate, just beyond or beneath the words.