Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Murmured ConversationsA Treatise on Poetry and Buddhism by the Poet-Monk Shinkei$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

On Hokku

On Hokku

(p.42) Ten On Hokku
Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

To the question of whether the lofty, calm, and simple style constitutes the hokku's “fundamental form” (hontai), Shinkei replied in the negative. Although he initially conceded that such a style is indeed proper for formal collections of waka and renga, Shinkei argues that there is no one single essential hokku form. He adds that a variety of forms arise due to the particular circumstances obtaining in each session, the inevitable shifts in taste from one period to another, and the poet's desire to be novel and original. To prove his point, Shinkei cites three head poems: one each from the Heian, Kamakura, and contemporary Muromachi periods. Shinkei bases his stand regarding the multiplicity of hokku styles on its role as the only verse in the whole sequence that is required to “record” the actual event by alluding to the place or the season, for example. Ultimately, Shinkei's argument on the multiplicity of styles, or the absence of an “essential form,” draws from temporality and emptiness, two of the principles of Buddhism.

Keywords:   hokku, Shinkei, head poems, Japanese poetry, style, form, temporality, emptiness, Buddhism

Stanford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.