I considered some of the many poems (and especially songs) relating to this week’s theme. Home is a common subject although not always a comfortable one for poets – Christina Rossetti is far from alone in connecting “going home” with death.
Songs about home and going home tend to be more upbeat. I can’t claim to be a big John Denver fan but I do have a soft spot for Country Roads (Take Me Home Country Road.) This is entirely due to the version in the Japanese Studio Ghibli film, Whisper of the Heart and especially its use in the closing credits. I have watched this sequence innumerable times and entreat everyone to watch it right through to the end. It is not exactly literature, being wordless (apart from the song which doesn’t relate directly to the action) but it is storytelling and therefore writing.
The story is simple – just what happens in the evening on a Tokyo street – but to me is absolutely beautifully done. Overweight salarymen get of their buses, some members of a running club run by. A girl lets her friends walks on and waits, looks a bit pensive, has she been stood up? No! here comes a boy running, he must have got delayed. They greet each other with a demure Japanese bow and walk off, the boy declaiming about something.
I meant to link the video and beg everyone to watch it but it seems to have vanished from YouTube, so the best I can do is offer this scene in which Shizuku, the young protagonist, sings her version of Country Roads to the accompaniment of Seiji’s violin accompaniment. Violin maker Seiji’s grandfather and his friends steal in, grab their own instruments, and play along.
I look forward to seeing what our writers make of, “Home is Where the Heart Is.”