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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 Practice of Poetry in Our Time

The Practice of Poetry in Our Time

(p.190) Fifty-Nine The Practice of Poetry in Our Time
Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

This chapter focuses on Shinkei's view of renga's overwhelming popularity in Japan during the medieval period as well as the conduct and atmosphere of renga sessions on the street. The intense activity that characterized every renga session evokes an aggressive verbal exhibitionism or one-upmanship typically seen today. Wielding a poetic language that does not have to observe the social hierarchy inscribed in everyday linguistic usage exerts a profound influence on both commoners and the serious poets of Shinkei's milieu. Sasamegoto's aim is not at criticism, but at the reform of the popular version of renga by skillful means. The argument for a skillful pedagogy is tied to the concept of the “latent capacity” (kikon) for enlightenment that people possess, and of the operation of internal cause and external condition (innen) in stimulating that capacity to mature, on the one hand, and in responding to that stimulus, on the other.

Keywords:   renga, Japan, medieval period, Shinkei, Japanese poetry, pedagogy, Sasamegoto, latent capacity, innen, poetic language

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