Rock at the Roadside
Poet and artist Saeko Ogi’s latest collection, Rock at the Roadside, features an array of Japanese poems in translation, with the assistance of Amelia Fielden, and travels from her life in Japan to her more recent experiences in Australia. There is peace to be found in gardens and many tanka dotted throughout this collection illustrate how Saeko—who is living on the banks of a lake—is inspired by her environment.
|ISBN 9781922332349 (PB, 212pp);
140mm x 216mm
|AUD $26||USD $18||NZD $28||GBP £12||EUR €14|
|ISBN 9781922332356 (eBook)||AUD $13||USD $9||NZD $15||GBP £6||EUR €7|
A layered life story that encompasses long term citizenship of two different nations, Rock at the Roadside retains reader interest throughout. The author does not shrink from giving voice to the tragedies and hardships of wartime and postwar years. Accounts of her childhood experiences and those of her family are moving and convincing. They provide yet another example of how the Japanese genre of tanka, when compellingly written and expertly translated, can cross boundaries of time, place and of diverse cultures to be shared around the world. Insights into the challenges the author faced upon migrating from the country of her birth constitute another strong component of the book. Realities of older age emerge but so too the benefits of tackling something new; maintaining confidence and purpose. Rock at the Roadside is an innovative tanka collection to be treasured.
– Beverley George, Founder and editor, Eucalypt: a tanka journal, issues 1-21; 2006-16
Rock at the Roadside is the culmination of many years of poetic creation by Saeko Ogi. It tells of a life lived deeply across two continents, the Japan of her childhood and the Australia she now calls home. The poems of the past recall the taste of Japan and others carry the dry bush heat of the Australian summer, though the golden fluff of the wattle settling on her weary shoulders bring heart’s ease. Ogi’s canvas is broad as she explores her responses to the natural environment of Australia, then new to her poetic landscape. Her sharp-sighted observation of nature and ordinary life, and of her imagined landscapes, draw us deep into her world as a poet bridging Japan and Australia. Her unique ascetic sensibilities are influenced by both countries and the poems piece together the rich mosaic of her life. Amelia Fielden’s masterful translations bring Ogi’s world to life.
– Dr Carol Hayes, Japanese Studies, Australian National University
through the vast sky
oh bird, where do you go
draws on the ground
by cows’ breath
Asahi newspaper Haiku Column; Three haiku selected by Kaneko Tōta
the full moon
I wait for it to be visible
from my pillow
sweeping fallen leaves
gathers the scent
my feet too
leave the earth