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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 Manifold Configurations of Poetry

The Manifold Configurations of Poetry

(p.48) Twelve The Manifold Configurations of Poetry
Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

This chapter, presenting text which is one of the most important pieces in Sasamegoto I, constitutes a development and ultimately a confirmation of an attitude cited earlier in Chapters 8 and 11. Here, Shinkei agrees with the basic correctness of the orthodox and Nijō-school style of quiet simplicity and gracefulness. He also subverts its claim to supremacy by locating it at a lowly stage of training, one that is particularly suitable to people of insufficient skill. Shinkei then quotes Teika to reject such a style and mentions other styles or effects that must by implication represent what he himself considers to be “the highest style.” The chapter features six metaphorical examples, four of which are mutually related and may be said to belong to the same stylistic category. One example is the metaphor of the wet iris stalk, whose cool and immaculate freshness naturally places it in this group.

Keywords:   Sasamegoto, style, Japanese poetry, Shinkei, metaphor, gracefulness, simplicity

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