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Resisting Communality: Linked Verse Sequences

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Chapter Summary

Linked verse sequences were usually composed by two or more people in a single session, bringing together the creative energies of poets of diverse backgrounds, training, and factional allegiances. The practice of linked verse composition was on the wane during Yosa Buson's lifetime. Bashō had been one of the greatest exponents of the kasen, or thirty-six link sequence, and the linked verse that he and his disciples composed forms the core of the collections that his school compiled. The long process of drafting and revising the Peaches and plums sequences over the course of several months sounds very different from the typical procedure of composing all the verses at a single session, and Kitō's description gives an indication of the intense perfectionism that he and Buson brought to their work.

Keywords: Bashō; linked verse sequences; Peaches and plums; Takai Kito; Yosa Buson



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