The Romanticism of 17th Century Japanese Poetry

Author: Kenning, Douglas
This Romantic look at Zen poetry examines the historical situation and developments in Japan and points out the parallels between English Romanticism and the poetics of the Kambun and Genroku periods, and especially shómon poets of the Japanese 17th century. It illuminates the way in which extra-poetic forces shape the poetry of an age with a comparison of poetic expression between cultures entirely isolated from each other.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction: Purposes and Definitions
II. Romantic Backgrounds: Converging Causal Factors
A: The Romanticism of Zen (The Case for Humor; The Romantic Roots of Zen); Qualities shared by Zen and English Romanticism (The Spirit and Nature of the Universe; Man within Nature; Ontological Unity; Merging of Subject and Object; Satiety; Ambivalence about Synthesis; Approaching Eternity through the Particular; Imagery of Transcending the Particular; The Failure of Language; A Language of Things in Themselves; Wise Passiveness; The Self-Creative Mind; The "Act"; Faith in the Feeling Heart; Natural Pure Morality of the Child; Inner Moral Justification; The Sublime ("Cloudy Impenetrability"); Perfection of the Imperfect; The Cultivation of Poverty)
B: An Emotive Poetics
C: A Sacerdotal Poetics
D: Neo-Confucianism and a Bourgeois Age
III. The Smile of Enlightenment
IV. Appendices and Bibliography