Proposal Title

Troubled Seas and Scattered Blossoms: Nature Images in Elegiac Anglo-Saxon and Japanese Poetry of the Medieval Period

Primary Faculty Mentor’s Name

Maren Clegg-Hyer

Session Format

Oral (max. 15 minutes)

Abstract

Certain parts of the human experience transcend all cultural boundaries and distinctions. Though seemingly universal, however, the expression of the various human emotional impressions can manifest in particular ways across different groups of people. One such impression appears both universally and individually among various cultures: loss. Perhaps one of the most important components of the human experience when conducting comparative cultural studies, the study of loss highlights what particular cultures found especially important. Many medieval writers looked to the natural world as a mirror of the internal and emotional world when attempting to convey the feeling of loss. This relationship created a variety of distinct nature images in elegiac poetry, especially poetic works appearing in medieval Anglo-Saxon and Japanese collections. When these works are studied alongside their respective cultural backgrounds, the emphasized similarities between the two cultures reveal something very important about man's relationship with nature and with each other.

Keywords

loss, nature imagery, elegiac poetry, medieval, Japan, Anglo-Saxon

Presentation Year

2017

Publication Type and Release Option

Event

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Troubled Seas and Scattered Blossoms: Nature Images in Elegiac Anglo-Saxon and Japanese Poetry of the Medieval Period

Certain parts of the human experience transcend all cultural boundaries and distinctions. Though seemingly universal, however, the expression of the various human emotional impressions can manifest in particular ways across different groups of people. One such impression appears both universally and individually among various cultures: loss. Perhaps one of the most important components of the human experience when conducting comparative cultural studies, the study of loss highlights what particular cultures found especially important. Many medieval writers looked to the natural world as a mirror of the internal and emotional world when attempting to convey the feeling of loss. This relationship created a variety of distinct nature images in elegiac poetry, especially poetic works appearing in medieval Anglo-Saxon and Japanese collections. When these works are studied alongside their respective cultural backgrounds, the emphasized similarities between the two cultures reveal something very important about man's relationship with nature and with each other.