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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 Roots of Poetry in Temporality

The Roots of Poetry in Temporality

(p.51) Thirteen The Roots of Poetry in Temporality
Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

Shinkei wants to elevate the character of a renga session by converting it from a mere amusement or an ornament to a convivial social occasion, to a more meaningful activity in which one contemplates the verities of human existence, particularly its temporality or transience. Shinkei's thought and poetry are based primarily on temporality; he believes that poetry rooted in mutability should bind human beings in a common sympathy and lead them into civilization. For Shinkei, the renga session, as a collective activity, is a potential instrument in this civilizing process. He also sees the renga session as an attitude that recalls the historic circumstance that the earliest renga masters were Jishū priests who used these sessions as a tool to convert others to the faith.

Keywords:   renga, Shinkei, temporality, Japanese poetry, civilization

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