Non-Fiction Books:

Beyond Chrysanthemums

Perspectives on Poetry East and West



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Beyond Chrysanthemums by Stephen Reckert
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Beyond Chrysanthemums assesses the relevance for the West of Eastern aesthetic and poetic principles in a lively discussion of over two hundred poems in seventeen Eastern and Western languages, ancient and modern, with parallel translations. The possibility of a world poetic canon is explored in the Introduction, which is followed by a detailed study of 'micropoems' from widely separated cultures and eras, but which are based on the same traditional myths and symbols. Poetic and iconographical versions of the universal myths of sacred space and the World Axis are examined in the book's next section, which looks closely at symbols such as the Taoist Isles and the Immortals, Camoes's Isle of Venus, Dante's Mount of Purgatory, and the Buddhist Mount Sumeru. The study concludes with a return to the micropoem in order to illustrate Eastern and Western ideas of liminality, personal identity and the divided self, as embodied in the Midsummer Night rite de passsage and the symbolic motifs of the mirror, the shadow, and the stone.
Release date NZ
September 2nd, 1993
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
8 pp plates
Clarendon Press
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