The several dozen jueju 絕句 quatrains in a collection titled Yifanfeng 一帆風 were written by Buddhist monks associated with Xutang Zhiyu 虛堂智愚 (1185–1269) to send home Japanese pilgrim-monk Nanpo Jōmin 南浦紹明 (1235–1309). The recent recovery in Japan of an early hand-copied manuscript of Yifanfeng has allowed researchers to revisit the last decade of sinophone scholarship on this text. The current essay, based on close reading of the entire Yifanfeng, illuminates the broader use of occasional poetry within Buddhist monastic communities of the Song Dynasty (960–1279). The Yifanfeng parting poems apply Buddhist themes and Chan humor to the mode of parting poetry, notably deviating from Song Dynasty norms of parting poems. The parting verses use poetic forms to express religious ideals and to adorn the culmination of Nanpo's pilgrimage to China. A mode of poetry that was not the province of Buddhist monasticism, namely, poems of parting, nonetheless was used by Buddhist monks within the monastery in novel ways that are recognizably Buddhist. By studying the aesthetics of parting in the Yifanfeng poems, we can see an aspect of Chinese Buddhist culture that is both literary and religious.

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