The Role of Poetry in Narrative Prose of the Heian Period Essay

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Prose is often used as a source of entertainment that can include elements of fiction and nonfiction. They are used in myths and legends that tell stories, of why things are and how they were meant to be. Meanwhile, poetry is largely used as a medium to express the writer’s innermost feelings. Inspirations for such poems can range from the poet’s past experiences, breath-taking scenery, or the passage of time. Poetry is often used in prose as a mechanic to show a character’s own thoughts and feelings; most of the characters’ poems never coincide with the writer’s own thoughts, except for rare cases. However, poetry can also be used as convention to add depth to the story. Those types of poems are simpler and do not have to be heavily …show more content…
During that time, terrible rain persisted and the lady and the Prince often equated their love and despair to the rain (140-41). They eventually met again, but feelings of uncertainty stirred afterwards. It became frustrating to listen to their constant pleas to one another and how they questioned the other’s sincerity: “You’re the one whose fickleness, As I have heard it told, Bring wavers o’er Sue’s pines . . . I think you an unfeeling wretch, And then again my heart’s desire,” (146-47). The Prince visited her after they grew distant and they, again, reaffirmed their love for one another. The poems just repeated how much they are in love and only contributed to the story by perfectly describing how much they were in love. The poems also became repetitive to the story as the prose frequently surmised the character’s feelings. For example, the Prince wanted to see her, but he heard rumors of men visiting her house and believed she was “fickle” (149). He sends a message expressing his concern and believes that she may have moved on: “Peace, peace so let it be, I shall no longer in my sore offense, Go down to the rocky strand And watch the fisher’s boat row out, leaving me forsaken on the shore,” (150).
Ki no Tsurayuki’s Tosa Nikki used poetry as a medium to express some of the writer’s own personal feelings, but their primary function was to adequately

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