Books for Independent Thinkers 
Cart (0) £0.00 GBP

Tokaido Road

Authors: Nancy Gaffield

Published by CB Editions

ISBN: 9780956735904

- +
Winner of the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize 2011.
Shortlisted for Forward Best First Collection Prize 2011.
Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

Regret and departure. Sleeves soaked in tears.

I walk forward turning round, like the pilgrim
who carries a mask on his back.

A road movie in verse, a creative engagement with another culture, Gaffield’s sequence of poems responds to Hiroshige’s woodcut prints (1833–4) depicting the landscapes and travellers of the Tokaido Road, which linked the Japanese eastern and western capitals of Edo and Kyoto. Submitting to the road and its relentless succession of departures and arivals,the poems discover a freedom to move beyond the frames established by Hiroshige, not least in their voicing of regret and longing, grief and desire.

"The project deals most satisfyingly with a question raised by its own design: what happens to us when we look at art? The answer is, we start to make art."
Todd McEwen

"The poems are strong in atmosphere and realisation, fluid, involving, at home with the uncertain, with human grief, memory, longing, history... Here, then, is poetry as time machine, providing what Elizabeth Bishop required of poetry – 'mystery, accuracy, and sponaneity'."
Penelope Shuttle

"A hugely ambitious and complex project, and the writing is always intelligent and thought-provoking."
Susan Wicks

"The forms in Tokaido Road range widley, including sonnets, prose poems and haibun, while always concentreating on the lyric moment of prints and poems that are simultaneously static and in motion. As the speaker remarks in 'Shimada', 'I want you to connect the image / with the human story', an aim realised by the whole of this thoughtful project."
Carrie Etter, The Guardian

"A consistent voice is punctuated by echoes and repetitions from one poem to another, but also an impressive variety of approach: in some poems the narrator is an observer; in others, she enters the frames, and what’s depicted often escapes their limits. The poems are not dry verbal renditions of visual art, but subtly arranged artworks in themselves, drawing out the signifcance of what’s already there for an engaged and imaginative viewer... Image and thought, showing and telling, seemed almost conjoined."
Rob Mackenzie, Magma

Nancy Gaffield works as a lecturer at the University of Kent. She was born in the United States and lived in Japan for many years.
See more: Book
Scroll to top