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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 Close Link and the Distant Link

The Close Link and the Distant Link

(p.96) Thirty-Three The Close Link and the Distant Link
Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

The structural continuity and discontinuity of a waka poem are known as the Close Link (shinku) and the Distant Link (soku), respectively. Most people cannot discern this distinction and are thus often confused by the precise nature of the link between verses. According to Lord Teika, the Distant Link is employed by many superior poems. Both the Close and Distant Link modes also exist in renga. The distance between two contiguous verses is key to understanding renga structure—specifically the nature of the link—and renga aesthetics. In his analysis of the shinku/soku dichotomy in this chapter, Shinkei clearly draws a distinction between the verse as such, a formal entity consisting of words (kotoba) arranged into an integral shape or configuration (sugata), on the one hand, and some underlying deep level of meaning (kokoro), on the other. For Shinkei, the shinku/soku dichotomy is only provisional, part of the metalinguistic principles of nondualism and impartiality.

Keywords:   waka, renga, Japanese poetry, Shinkei, Close Link, shinku, Distant Link, soku, kokoro, sugata

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