Modern Turkish poetry was formed by combining canonic nationwide literature and the diversified private kinds of poets who all supported individualism. The voice and imagery derived from the latter have gained significance over time, particularly in the case of poet Yahya Kemal who merged messages of conservative nationalism and liberal individualism in his poetry. Although nationwide literature stays central to the official Turkish literary canon, Yahya Kemal’s poetry speaks extra to the modern period.
Beyond poetic kinds, some critics particularize poets primarily based on their political causes. The politicizing of poets and poetic actions held little that means earlier than “Acılı Kuşak” in the 1940s, who have been a bunch of leftist poets who used their poetry as a device to include their political messages. This motion was adopted by the “1960 Kuşağı,” one other group of younger leftist poets who promoted Marxism throughout the context of poetry.
Conservatives, nationalists and Islamists to some extent imitated the sectarian leftists of the 1940s and 1960s by defining their group with political labels. Young Islamist authors debated “Islamic literature” and the “Islamization of literature” in the early 1980s earlier than a silent decision was reached that Turkish literature couldn’t be divided into camps by faith. Since the time period “Islamic” implies the presence of different non secular affiliations or atheism and on condition that there had been no literary motion or celebration affiliated with a faith aside from Islam, the Islamists realized it might be wiser to align their works to the traditions of Turkish literature somewhat than Islam as a faith or ideology.
A new argument stemming from leftist populist logic affords that there couldn’t be any poets (in common any authors or artists) aside from leftists. This argument is usually repeated by even writers and never solely doesn’t make sense however is unfeasible in literary historical past and chauvinistic in nature. Throughout its historical past, Turkey has seen poets, writers, novelists, essayists and critics belonging to various political causes and affiliations. Aside from the greats, allow us to look right into a extra minor poet of the early 20th century, Orhan Seyfi Orhon, to showcase a conservative poet in the modern period.
Orhan Seyfi Orhon was born in 1890 in the neighborhood of Çengelköy close to the Bosporus in Istanbul to Mehmet Emin Bey, a colonel in the Ottoman military, and Nimet Hanım. He studied at Çengelköy Elementary School earlier than he was transferred to Havuzbaşı Elementary School in the identical neighborhood, graduated from Beylerbeyi Junior High School after which attended Mercan High School. He initially enrolled at Mekteb-i Mülkiye (the School of Political Sciences) in Ankara, then on the Tıbbiye Mektebi (the School of Medicine) in Istanbul earlier than realizing that he didn’t need to be a doctor and left for the “Mekteb-i Hukuk” (the School of Law) in Istanbul, from which he graduated in 1914.
During his regulation college years, Orhon revealed a small literary journal named “Hıyaban” with a good friend of his, which lasted solely 5 points. After that, he started to publish his poems and essays in famend journals akin to “Türk Yurdu,” “Yeni Mecmua” and “Büyük Mecmua,” making him a well-known determine throughout the literary circles of Istanbul.
After regulation college, Orhon started to work on the Chamber of Deputies as a secretary of regulation however throughout World War I, enlisted in the military in 1915 and served till the top of the battle. During his navy service, he accompanied the “Çanakkale Edebi Heyeti,” a committee of authors who visited the Gallipoli entrance and shared their impressions with the general public.
Storm and snow
Orhon’s debut poem “Fırtına ve Kar” (“The Storm and the Snow”) was a seven-page epic poem and though he was solely 22 on the time, he was accepted into poetic circles for his progressive model. The work itself displays heavy influences of writer-poet Abdülhak Hamid Tarhan, the “genius” of late Ottoman poetry in addition to Tevfrik Fikret and Mehmet Akif, the founding fathers of the modern epic. The piece is an intense dialogue between the storm and the snow, demonstrating a robust use of personification and “serbest müstezat,” a type of Turkish free verse.
During World War I, Orhon joined a brand new motion often called “Beş Hececiler” underneath the steerage of National Literary circles, with explicit encouragement from Ziya Gökalp. As a cultural nationalist, Gökalp requested the younger poets to jot down with folkloric rhymes somewhat than the inventive and excessive forehead model derived from Arabic and Persian poetry. Orhon was among the many younger poets making the shift from the elevated model to the normal.
After the battle, Orhon was left unemployed when the Allied forces closed the Chamber of Deputies. Orhon didn’t observe the members of the chamber, who gathered in Ankara for the nationwide battle, however selected to remain in Istanbul and work as a instructor and writer.
Orhon continued his works as a instructor and writer after the War of Independence till 1946, when he was elected a member of Parliament. Orhon can be elected as soon as extra in 1965, however this time left the People’s Republican Party (CHP) for the Justice Party (AP), which mirrored his political ideologies higher.
Orhan Seyfi Orhon was not solely a faithful nationalist and conservative in politics but in addition in poetry. His poems have been a type of political expression that carried out conventional phrases in the place of the “derived” or “fabricated” and addressed conventional notions in relation to faith and nationalism. Belief, prayer, acknowledgment, morality, sacred love and heavenly mercy have been among the many traditions Orhon touched on by means of his work.
Though included in schoolbooks, Orhon’s poems have been out of print for a very long time following his demise in 1972 as a result of deliberate negligence of poetic circles, whose political attitudes I’ve already speculated about. Orhon’s nationalism, conservatism and satirical representations of sure leftists akin to Ismet Inönü, the second president of Turkey, and writer, poet Nazım Hikmet price him as he disappeared into oblivion following his demise.
Orhon and his poetry have been solely remembered after he was listed in the “100 Temel Eser” (“100 Seminal Works”) of the Ministry of National Education, which satisfied personal publishers to reprint his books. Orhon’s full poems have been revealed in 2007 and have since been reprinted quite a few instances.
A avenue and elementary college have been named after him in the Üsküdar district of Istanbul.