Roo Borson: Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida


I’m never, now, not walking by that river,

dragonflies dipped in evening sun,

coots, and the wicked swans, honking and scooting,

in the haze of  afternoon traffic

the whole city, it seems, setting sail for home…

Those of you who love poetry in the Japanese and Chinese tradition will treasure Roo Borson’s meditative excursions into everyday life, nature and the thoughts that connect the two.  Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida won the Canadian Governor General’s Award on its publication in 2004. As well as poetry, it contains a prose piece Persimmons that’s an object lesson in creative non-fiction, and the title piece, a reflection on Basho’s  Narrow Road to the Deep North. Very very highly recommended, for poets and non-poets alike.

The photo is of the River Torrens in Adelaide, where Borson was living when she wrote this poem.

And here’s a link to an article about  the influence of Japanese and Chinese tradition on Borson’s work.


9 thoughts on “Roo Borson: Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida

  1. That’s a new one for me, Gert. The Roo Borson’s meditative excursion into everyday life. The picture looks surreal and peaceful.

  2. This sounds delightful. And what a photo — so perfect for “the whole city setting sail for home . . .” Even if I don’t have time to look at the whole thing, this little fragment and the picture are an oasis to return to for 60-seconds refreshment — and that can go a long way. Thanks, Gert!!

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