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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 Is a Self-Consuming Passion

Poetry Is a Self-Consuming Passion

(p.68) Twenty-One Poetry Is a Self-Consuming Passion
Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

In this chapter, Shinkei concedes that the ability to compose verses with dexterous ease under different circumstances is a prerequisite of every renga poet. However, this apparent dexterity comes with constant practice, as seen in the Sasamegoto passage attributed to Shinkei's young disciple Kenzai, in which he reiterates that the creation of superior poetry is a laborious, time-consuming process. Indeed, Shinkei implies that the serious poet would sacrifice his youth, his health, and even his life for it. Thus, Shinkei views the poetic process as an all-consuming passion and even a life-and-death struggle with the solidity of language.

Keywords:   Shinkei, Japanese poetry, renga, Sasamegoto, Kenzai, language

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