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Temple Bells Die Out Essay

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Semansky is an instructor of literature whose writing appears regularly in literary journals. In this essay, Semansky considers the imagery in Basho¯'s poem.

Basho¯'s haiku does not lend itself to the strategies that literary critics often use to interpret a poem. For one thing, it is short, very short, and for another it is not full of the figurative language and irony of many western poems, which often require the unpacking of allusions and metaphor. However, Basho¯'s technique, of creating haiku by juxtaposing images from ordinary life with seemingly nothing in common, complicates the act of representation while attempting to simplify it. By writing little, he leaves out much.

The Westernized version of kaiku, or hokku, as it was called when Basho¯ practiced, is composed of three lines, which contain five, seven, and five syllables, respectively. Sometimes the haiku contains one image and...

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This section contains 1,102 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Temple Bells Die Out Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Temple Bells Die Out from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.