“When he passed the ruined capital at Omi” and “Upon seeing a dead man” are poems written by Kakinomoto Hitomaro. These two poems are classics and have exemplary style and themes. As much as the poems share the same author, they have various similarities and differences which are clearly demonstrated in the paper.
First of all, the themes of the poems are almost similar. Both pieces of writing are sad as they have an element of death in them. In the poem “When we passed the ruined capital at Omi” Kakinomoto Hitomaro speaks of a former capital that was full of beauty and splendor. A city that was once full of people and happiness is lying in ruins now. There are only grass and nothing else that one can long for any more. In the second poem the poet speaks about a loss of life by a man on the shore of the sea. The man is dying alone there and his family does not have any knowledge of his whereabouts. He is dying miserable on a bed of rocks which are his comfortable pillow.
Secondly, in both poems Kakinomoto Hitomaro speaks about the beauty of his land. He describes the beautiful blue earth and the land below the horizon as pleasure to his eyes. Both heroes gaze upon the eternally flourishing and full of nobility land. It is evident from both poems that the poet loves nature.
Another important characteristic of Kakinomoto Hitomaro’s works is non-use of rhymes. The words do not follow any sequence in terms of rhyme, though they come out clearly and concisely and express the intended point of the poet.
Also, in both poems the author uses imagery. In the first work “When we passed the ruined capital at Omi” he uses the destroyed city to show fall or decay of an individual, or a life that was once happy and full. In the second poem the poet uses the image of a dead man to illustrate lost hope in the society, and the widow represents desperation people face after loss of certain things in life.
On the other hand, the poems have some differences. In “When we passed the ruined capital at Omi” the poet uses assertive sentences to pass a strong message. He says “you can never meet those people from the past” and then there is an assertion "you think you will never meet”. These words pass a clear message. In the second poem Kakinomoto Hitomaro uses a rhetoric question to present the main point to the audience. He says “does her not wait, worrying and longing, your beloved wife?” It expresses the situation of desperation in which the dead man has left his wife.
Although both poems use imagery, used figures of speech are different. In the second poem imagery used are a dead man and a widow, while in the poem “When we passed the ruined capital at Omi” the dilapidated city is an element of imagery.
On the whole, both poems are legendary and play a significant role in literature. They address certain themes that need a further discussion of artists. These poems are appreciated by every reader.