The exhibition Wordsworth and Basho : Walking Poets was shown at Kakimori Bunko, Osaka, Japan last autumn.
I contributed a sequence of seven short poems, taking as my starting point Wordsworth’s ‘The Solitary Reaper’. They were presented as prints, and as a booklet in the display case.
The photographs on the wall are by Tomohiko Ogawa, and show postcards of Scotland ‘matched’ with landscapes in Japan. Tomohiko also took these exhibition photographs.
Some of Alec Finlay’s word-mountains were also shown. There is a fine, informative catalogue; below is a page with Tomohiko’s photographs, including one we used on the cover of The Road North (middle left; on the book cover it’s reversed), and a page with background to my take on ‘The Solitary Reaper’.
After the road-trips of 2010 and 2011, Alec Finlay and I wrote a long poem about our travels on The Road North. It’s now been published in book form by Shearsman as the road north: a journey through Scotland guided by Bashō’s oku-no-hosomichi, 15 May 2010–15 May 2011.
You can buy the book via the Shearsman website.
You can download an audio version free of charge from iTunes – search for ‘The Road North (Alec Finlay & Ken Cockburn).
With thanks to Tony Frazer at Shearsman, and Tomohiko Ogawa for the cover photograph – it’s a postcard of Scotland which Alec sent to Tomohiko, who ‘matched’ it with a landscape in Japan.
If you’re interested in the background to the project, click on the link below to read an article I wrote for The Author, the magazine of The Society of Authors, earlier this year.
KC TRN The Author
And you can still read the original blog, written while we were on the road.