Japanese poetry is poetry of or typical of Japan, or written, spoken, or chanted in the Japanese language, which includes Old Japanese, Early Middle Japanese, Late Middle Japanese, and Modern Japanese, and may perhaps include the poetry in Japan which was written in the Chinese language: it is possible to make a more accurate distinction between Japanese poetry written in Japan or by Japanese people in other languages versus that written in the Japanese language by speaking of Japanese-language poetry. Much of the literary record of Japanese poetry begins when Japanese poets encountered Chinese poetry during the Tang Dynasty (although the Shijing was well known by the literati of Japan by the 6th century). Under the influence of the Chinese poets of this era Japanese began to compose poetry in Chinese (kanshi). It took several hundred years to digest the foreign impact and make it an integral part of Japanese culture and to merge it with into a Japanese language literary tradition, and then later to develop the diversity of unique poetic forms of native poetry. For example, in the Tale of Genji both kinds of poetry are frequently mentioned.
A new trend came in the middle of the 19th century. Since then, the major forms of Japanese poetry have been tanka (the modern name for waka), haiku and shi or western-style poetry. Nowadays the main forms of Japanese poetry can be divided into experimental poetry and poetry that seeks to revive traditional ways. Poets writing in tanka, haiku and shi move in separate planes and seldom write poetry other than in their specific chosen form, although some active poets are eager to collaborate with poets in other genres.
Poetry (from the Greek poiesis — ποίησις — meaning a "making", seen also in such terms as "poiesishemo"; more narrowly, the making of poetry) is a form of literary art which uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning.
Poetry has a long history, dating back to the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh. Early poems evolved from folk songs such as the Chinese Shijing, or from a need to retell oral epics, as with the Sanskrit Vedas, Zoroastrian Gathas, and the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Ancient attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle's Poetics, focused on the uses of speech in rhetoric, drama, song and comedy. Later attempts concentrated on features such as repetition, verse form and rhyme, and emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from more objectively-informative, prosaic forms of writing. From the mid-20th century, poetry has sometimes been more generally regarded as a fundamental creative act employing language.
A Haiku in English is a short poem which uses imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience of nature or the season intuitively linked to the human condition. It is a development of the Japanese haiku poetic form in the English language.
Some of the more common practices in English include:
Literary theory in a strict sense is the systematic study of the nature of literature and of the methods for analyzing literature. However, literary scholarship since the 19th century often includes—in addition to, or even instead of literary theory in the strict sense—considerations of intellectual history, moral philosophy, social prophecy, and other interdisciplinary themes which are of relevance to the way humans interpret meaning. In humanities in modern academia, the latter style of scholarship is an outgrowth of critical theory and is often called simply "theory." As a consequence, the word "theory" has become an umbrella term for a variety of scholarly approaches to reading texts. Many of these approaches are informed by various strands of Continental philosophy and sociology.