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Verse in frames: Winter Days

Animated shorts seem to be a running theme on this blog, and I’m happy to keep it that way. In this case, I am looking at an anthology (and it is quite properly so-called) of animated shorter-than-shorts. I am tempted to call it a sequence of animated haiku . This is technically incorrect, but it gives the prospective watcher at least some idea of the pacing and themes of Winter Days . In fact, this anthology of shorts, chiefly directed by Kawamoto Kihachirô, is inspired by and based on a haikai no renga , or vernacular linked verse, which was initiated by Bashô, the seventeenth-century Japanese haiku master. The haikai no renga style was something like a poetic round robin. The concept went like this: the poet would write a single couplet, and then he would pass this couplet to another poet. This second poet would take the second line of that couplet, turn it into the first line of her couplet, and pass it onto a third, who would do the same before passing it on to a fourth. Wi

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