Perhaps there was a fifty-fourth station of the Tōkaidō.
What if Hiroshige transcended time and geography, sailed into Kirkcaldy harbour and placed a stone block in the outer walls of the library. A nod to an alternative Eastern Sea Road. A found poem of the East Fife coast:
Forth (Rail) Bridge –> North Queensferry –> Carlingnose Point –> West Ness –> Inverkeithing –> East Ness –> St David’s Bay –> Donibristle Bay –> Dalgety Bay –> Braefoot Point –> Port Haven –> Aberdour –> Burntisland –> Pettycur –> Kinghorn –> Kirkcaldy –> Pathhead –> Dysart –> West Wemyss –> East Wemyss –> Buckhaven –> Methil –> Leven –> Lundin Links –> Lower Largo –> Largo Bay –> Ruddon’s Point –> Shell Bay –> Kincraig Point –> Chapel Point –> Earlsferry –> Elie –> St Monans –> Pans Goat –> Pittenweem –> Anstruther –> Cellardyke –> Caiplie Coves –> Crail –> Fife Ness –> Balcomie –> Cambo Sands –> Airbrow Point –> Babbet Ness –> Buddo Rock –> Kinkell Ness –> St Andrews –> Guardbridge –> Leuchars –> Tentsmuir Forest –> Lundin Bridge –> Tayport –> Tay Road Bridge.
Fifty-three stations. The Kirkcaldy pivot stone.
White spume of sea roar, deluge of slanted rain. Across the Forth, landform apparitions. The fate of unseen ships seeking safe harbour. Waves break upon the shore.
Image found on a stone on the outer wall of Kirkcaldy Galleries and Library.
After The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō a series of ukiyo-e woodcut prints created by Utagawa Hiroshige after his first travel along the Tōkaidō in 1832.
Now playing: Toru Takemitsu – Toward the Sea / Rain Tree / Rain Spell
4 replies on “The Fifty-Fourth Station of the Tōkaidō (in Kirkcaldy)”
Wonderful how, with imagination, the encounter with a stone can spark so much. And what a marvellous list of place names. Any chance of an audio file with you reciting it? I’m sure you and Brian could come up with something!
Thanks Alan. Much appreciated. I might have a bash at doing an audio file. Hadn’t really thought about it before so thanks for the idea. Will let you know if it works out!
It was just a thought. As I read the piece, I felt it would be great if someone with the right accent and rhythm and local knowledge could convey to me the music of those place names. All the best, expectantly!
A fine reminder of fine place names I haven’t heard since I lived in Fife 1971-1974 – Dalgety, Aberdour, Wemyss, Pittenweem, Anstruther, Leuchars – must return one day …