1 Brooks Nicole

This past Wednesday there was a fire alarm at 4:30 AM in 5-degree weather at Carmichael Hall.

A Cold morning

I stand in the warmth

Of Huddled Strangers



This week we were introduced to the central theme of Japanese culture, which is the concept of Evanescence as balanced by Form . Coming from a western perspective , I found it difficult to grasp the idea that even though everything is constantly changing, it is still in form. At first I didn’t understand how something could be “uptight, and chaotic at the same time” (Inouye Lec 2). However after reading various tanka,  in class and the readings I began to understand how these two ideas are able to blend together. Tanka’s have a simple form consisting of 5 lines with a certain pattern of syllables that must be followed. Though brief and with a rigid form, these short poems are able to effectively express the visual beauty of a moment (Inouye ,13). The importance of tankas in Japanese culture help to also illustrate the image of evanescence in the cicada shell as “utsusemi affirms life’s brevity and fragility.” (Inuoye Lec 2) Tankas are perfect for embodying this idea, because like all moments they are short and will always end. Though this can be seen as somewhat dismal, the Japanese embrace this notion, as it is the essence of reality. As busy college students, I think many of us forget the importance of the moment and living in the now. It makes me think of Ferris Bueller’s quote, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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1 Response to 1 Brooks Nicole

  1. Jiabin Zhang says:

    Hello Nicole,
    I really like your drawing! It definitely shows some skills.
    As your first tanka, it is good. But you should probably get rid of words like “cold” and “huddled” since you are not supposed to use descriptive language in Japanese poems. The reason behind this, as we will this week, is that Japanese even impose form on emotions. “Situation A yields Emotion A.”(Inouye, 84)
    Your paragraph shows good understanding of the fundamental ideas of Japanese culture through tanka, which is quite revealing.

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