Ancient Japanese Poem Review







Ancient Japanese Poem Review





Ancient Japanese Poem Review

Crying Tears of Blood

Summary and Analysis

This poem is a clear allusion to the commemoration of the death of a loved one. Through the poem, the author is expressing sorrow about the loss of his wife. The opening of the poem illustrates that the relationship between the two lovers was secretivewhich madeit hard for them to meet. The speaker received news about his wife’s death through “the messenger of the catalpa gem.”The messenger’s news was disappointing and heart-breaking and triggered unwanted emotions.The major theme of the poem is love augmented by loss and separation. The expressions used in the poem give the reader a sense of pain felt by the speaker. It was hard for him to receive the bad news. Although the agent was trusted, the speaker was in denial and “could not bear to listen to his words.” To satisfy the thousandfold longing, he decided to look for her in Karu Market. This poem has embodied the strength of feeling and sincerity. The speaker talks of how he searched for indications that his wife was still alive. The poem emphasizes on thetheme of loss and pain. The speaker states, “There was no one who resembled her.” He was in denial of the death of his wife and expressed deep emotions of loss.

Envoy Analysis

The envoys have summarized poet’s message. The first envoy conveys carefully worded messages about the pain and confusion of the speaker. It talks about how the speaker struggled to look for his wife: “I want to search for my sister who is lost.” The envoy shows how the speaker cannot make sense of the death of his wife. He was in denial of the whole situation and needed closure. The envoy has closed with expressive of sorrow and despair felt by the speaker due to the death of his wife.

The second envoy has utilized imagery to illustrate the sorrow and grief caused by the loss. The words of the messenger about the death of the speaker’s wife were unforgettable. They brought back memories of the days they met. The envoy describes how the speaker mourns over the death of his wife. It brings about the concept of morose and reminiscent and captures on the theme of pain and loss. Together, the two envoys create an earnest and mournful poem which conveys to the reader about the events that happened when the speaker received the bad news.

Iwami Poems

This poem is made up of two long poems that convey the same theme.

The First Poem

Summary and Analysis

The first poem sets an introduction to the woman the author has written about. The author has introduced the women using metaphors and imageries. He has referred her as a pun between the seaweedand the girl “drawing” close to a man in sleep. The author talks about the experience of partying from his wife in Iwami. This poem is characterized by a profound personal lyricism. It has used imageries like dew, mountains and summer grass to describe the difficulty of leaving his wife. He illustrates, “may these mountains bow down” as an indication that the distance between them was growing, and he wanted to see her wife, but nature was blocking this attempt.



Envoy Analysis

This poem has two envoys. The first envoy illustrates how it was difficult for the speaker to leave his wife. The speaker wonders whether his wife could still see him wave through the gaps in the trees. This envoy conveys separation and the difficulty it brings. The speaker expresses sorrow caused by the separation from his wife.

The second envoy summarizes the emotions the speaker experiences as a result of the separation. He longs for his wife whom he left behind. From the envoy, it is clear that the speaker was not ready to live, it was only circumstances that forced him to go, and if he had an option, he could have stayed. The envoy expresses a sense of heartbreak as a result of loving someone who you must bid farewell.

The Second Poem

Summary and Analysis

The second poem has introduced the sleeping girl. The speaker uses imagery to describe the feeling of love, “like deep-sea weed was deep within my thoughts.” Yet, he had to leave his wife behind which was hard to do. He thought he was a man of courage, but emotions overwhelmed him which caused him to tear up. The poem has used imagery such as seas, rocks, storms and fallen scarlet to express sadness and pain of separation. The speaker has a great love for his woman, but it saddens him to part from her.

Envoy Analysis

The first envoy expresses how the speakerleft the village of her wife in a rush. He feels that the separation came fast before they could spend more time together. The envoy creates a fervent lyrical expression that informs the reader that the speakers only spend a short time with his wife before he was forced to leave.

The second envoy expresses the desire of the speaker to see her wife wave farewell which was impossible due to the falling leaves. The envoy is written in a concrete language filled with metaphors which make it sound mysterious. It expresses the emotions felt by the speaker about the distance between him and his wife.

Poem Questions

  1. What is the difference between the tones used in the first and the second poem discussed above?
  2. Compare and contrast the two poems above. How are they similar? And how are they different regarding tone, the imageries used, the organization of words, etc.?
  3. The major feature of Ancient Japanese Poems like the Iwami poem is their reliance on imagery, similes, and symbolism. Identify the imageries, and symbols usedin the above poems.

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