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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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The Role of Waka in Renga Training

The Role of Waka in Renga Training

(p.40) Nine The Role of Waka in Renga Training
Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

Renga differs from waka in a number of ways. For example, renga diction makes greater use of ellipses, nominals, and verbals with no modal suffixes. In addition, the rhythm of the single 5-7-5- or 7-7-syllable verse is quicker, more crisp and cleanly delineated in renga than that of the 5-7-5-7-7-syllable form, which can be more flowing and subtle in movement, in waka. Shinkei's insistence that renga and waka should be one, despite their obvious differences, may be interpreted as an attempt to promote in renga the aesthetic ideals of waka (and of some Chinese poetry). The cornerstone of renga as a word game is the device of yoriai. With yoriai, however, there is no attempt to connect to the integral meaning of the maeku. While it could and did produce exciting verses, yoriai tends to cause renga to degenerate into a dull activity where the verbal correspondences become isolated as the sole link between the verses.

Keywords:   waka, renga, Shinkei, yoriai, maeku, verses, Japanese poetry

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