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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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Ancient and Middle-Period Renga

Ancient and Middle-Period Renga

(p.21) Five Ancient and Middle-Period Renga
Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

This chapter constitutes Shinkei's most important statement in Sasamegoto I on linking (tsukeai) in renga. Here, he argues that the link between verses has priority over the words of each verse. For example, while the single verse might be beautiful and impressive in itself, it is utterly lifeless unless it relates to the meaning (kokoro) of the previous verse (maeku). On the other hand, a plain and seemingly trivial verse will suddenly acquire a new life when viewed from the perspective of its link with the maeku. In other words, the transaction or engagement (toriyori) between the verse units, not in the verse units, is key to the essence and vitality of renga as a poetic genre, and linking is a process of animating words through the act of understanding.

Keywords:   Shinkei, Sasamegoto, linking, Japanese poetry, kokoro, maeku, toriyori, renga, verses

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