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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.164) Forty-Nine The Close Link and the Distant Link
Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

In this chapter, Shinkei laments how waka and renga are being composed mainly in the Close Link (shinku) mode while the Distant Link (soku) has been rarely employed. Whereas the Close Link is based on form (usō), the Distant Link is based on the formless (musō). The Close Link refers to conventional linguistic usage that requires little or no interpretation, while the Distant Link is generated by the emptiness of the dharmas and is characterized by an apparent wide gap between maeku and tsukeku. Shinkei reminds the renga poet to keep an open mind and refrain from becoming attached to either Close or Distant Link. For Shinkei, the mind of the true poet must be like the undifferentiated mind-ground of a Buddha and not fixated on either form or formlessness.

Keywords:   Shinkei, waka, renga, Close Link, Distant Link, Japanese poetry, shinku, soku, formlessness, form

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