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Murmured ConversationsA Treatise on Poetry and Buddhism by the Poet-Monk Shinkei$
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Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804748636

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804748636.001.0001

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Double Meaning in Poetry

Double Meaning in Poetry

Chapter:
(p.45) Eleven Double Meaning in Poetry
Source:
Murmured Conversations
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804748636.003.0012

According to Shinkei, double meaning is the lifeblood of poetry, the source of its vitality. Without double meaning, composing waka and renga becomes rather difficult. However, double meaning necessarily includes much that is vulgar, so that it is important to exercise the greatest discernment when using it. The overwhelming importance assumed by double entendre in Japanese classical poetry is inevitable in view of the poem's brevity. The poem's limited space can be maximized by a form of ellipsis, punning allusiveness. Ellipsis allows a poet to superimpose a strand of meaning or situation that differs from, yet is related to, what the words say on the primary level. The poetic effect of the pun is evident at the end of a jo, an introductory section that typically describes an external scene or situation not directly related to the poem's main statement, but forming a metonymical adjunct to it.

Keywords:   double meaning, Japanese poetry, pun, Shinkei, ellipsis, jo

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