Heart's Flower

Heart's Flower

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Shinkei (1406-75), one of the most brilliant poets of medieval Japan, is a pivotal figure in the development of renga (linked poetry) as a serious art. In an age when anyone who wished to signal his denial of mundane concerns or make his way in the world with relative freedom donned the robes of a monk, Shinkei stood out by being a practicing cleric with a temple in Kyoto, the Japanese capital. His priestly duties and his devotion to Buddhist ideals are directly reflected in the intensely pure, lyrical longing for transcendence that is the most notable quality of his sensibility. Shinkei's life and work also provide a vivid portrayal of a tumultuous period of Japanese history that was one of the defining moments of its culture, when Zen Buddhism began to directly influence the arts. The book is in two parts. The first part is a literary biography based primarily on Shinkei's own writings - his critical essays, waka sequences, hokku collections, and commentaries - supplemented by various external sources. What emerges is the compelling portrait of a man who bore witness to the tragic anarchy of his times while clinging to the ideal of poetic practice as a mode of being and access to Buddhist enlightenment. Shinkei became embroiled in the factional struggles preceding the Onin War (1467-77) and died a refugee in what is now Kanagawa. The second part consists of annotated translations of Shinkei's most representative poetry: (1) selected hokku (opening verse of a sequence) and tsukeku (linked pairs of verses), along with Muromachi-period commentaries on them; (2) two 100-verse renga sequences - the first a solo composition from 1467, and the second a collaboration with Sogi and other poet-priests and samurai from 1468; and (3) a selection of one hundred waka poems highlighting Shinkei's most characteristic mode of ineffable remoteness. Throughout, the author's annotations seek to define and clarify the unique genre called qlinked poetry.qThe Life and Poetry of Shinkei Esperanza U. Ramirez-Christensen. verseaquot;), the second ... Sogi Sogi 3 chidori naku As plovers cry along the kawara no tsuki ni river shallows, a boat glides up fune tomete beneath the moon. Norishige Norishigeanbsp;...

Title:Heart's Flower
Author:Esperanza U. Ramirez-Christensen
Publisher:Stanford University Press - 1994


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