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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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Poetry Contests and Criticism

Poetry Contests and Criticism

(p.114) Thirty-Six Poetry Contests and Criticism
Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

A practice in waka was to hold poetry contests (uta awase), when poems were subjected to varying praise and criticism which exposed even their slightest flaws while the poets' names were withheld from the company. While such contents were also held in the case of renga, these were actually hokku or tsukeku arranged by an individual poet into pairs or rounds and submitted for judgment to a famous master or senior poet. An example is the Master Bontō's Renga Match in Fifteen Rounds (Bontōan renga awase jūgoban) convened in 1415. Renga contests could have been rarely held with the degree of formality and ceremony that characterized waka contests, but informally, they were held quite often and, as Shinkei hoped, became part of a renga poet's training. Nevertheless, Shinkei clearly hoped for a higher standard of poetry in renga than was being produced during his time.

Keywords:   waka, renga, poetry contests, criticism, hokku, tsukeku, Shinkei, Japanese poetry

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