Reading Yunus Emre’s Shathiyas in Terms of Stream of ConsciousnessRabia Doğru
Some of Yunus Emre’s poems are built on images that do not reconcile directly with one another in terms of their meanings and are distant from rationality. Therefore, his poems are typically received by readers differently compared to other literary works. Such perceptions have been used as foundations for the development of various approaches to Yusuf Emre’s poems, which are considered shathiya. These approaches are centered on the idea that in his poems, Yunus Emre has employed symbolic language with a definite rationale in mind. This approach suggests that the embedded phrases in his poems are based extensively on the tenets of Sufi philosophy. Consequently, it is presumed that the poems are constructed with allegories to the conceptual universe. However, the fact that all the commentaries on Yunus Emre’s poems have been centered exclusively on the principles of Sufi philosophy has given rise to a one-sided consideration of his poetry. In addition, the similarities between the shathiya and stream-of-consciousness texts seem act as invitations for readers to interpret Yunus Emre’s poems from the shathiya perspective. This study is an attempt at diverting readers from interpreting Yunus Emre’s poems exclusively in the light of the shathiya-type poems and encouraging a shift in focus toward the possibility of reading these poems as works of stream-of-consciousness fiction.
Yunus Emre’nin Şathiyelerini Bilinç Akışı ile Okumanın İmkânı ÜzerineRabia Doğru
Yunus Emre’nin şathiye türünde değerlendirilen şiirleri, birbiriyle anlam bakımından doğrudan uzlaşmayan, rasyonellikten uzak ve bu bağlamda farklı bir alımlama tarzını beraberinde getirmesi beklenen imgelerle kurulmuştur. Bu imgelerden hareketle, söz konusu şiirler hakkında öne sürülen yaklaşımların birçoğu, Yunus Emre’nin burada kasıtlı olarak sembolik bir dil kullandığı yönündedir. Yani bu şiirlerde üstü örtülü bir şekilde verilen kelimelerin, derinde tasavvufî düşüncenin kavramlarını barındırdığı; böylece onların, kavramsal bir dünyanın gösterilenleriyle tasarlandığı varsayılmaktadır. Ne var ki bu değerlendirmelerin çoğunlukla tasavvuf düşüncesinden hareketle yapılmış olması, Yunus Emre’nin bu türdeki şiirlerine tek yönlü yaklaşım alışkanlığını da beraberinde getirmiş gibidir. Bunun yanı sıra şathiye türündeki bir şiir ve bilinç akışıyla kurulmuş bir metin arasındaki benzerlikler, Yunus Emre’nin bu şiirlerini, bilinç akışı tekniği üzerinden ve farklı bir perspektifle okumanın çağrısı olarak görünmektedir. Bu çalışma, genel itibarıyla Yunus Emre’nin şathiyelerine yönelik şimdiye değin çoğunlukla benimsenen okuma alışkanlığını askıya almayı denemekte ve bunları, bilinç akışı kurgusuyla okumanın imkânı üzerinde durmaktadır.
Various approaches have been proposed with regard to Yunus Emre’s poetic thought process in relation to his poem “I climbed to the branches of a plum tree” and other shathiya-type poems. Some of Yunus Emre’s poems are built on images that do not reconcile directly with one another in terms of their meanings and are distant from rationality; therefore, Yunus Emre’s poems are typically received by readers differently compared to other literary works. With such images as the foundation, several approaches established around the poem “I climbed to the branches of a plum tree” are centered on the idea that Yunus Emre has employed symbolic language with a definite rationale in mind. The basis to such approaches is the inference that the depictions in Yunus Emre’s poetry and all other shathiya-type poems have no apparent meaningful associations at first glance. Further, it is believed that these representations are intended as “symbolisms” allegorizing some other phenomenon. According to this view, the embedded phrases in the poem employ the concepts of Sufi philosophy extensively. Therefore, it is presumed that they are constructed with indicators of the conceptual universe.
The general characteristics of shathiya-type texts are as follows. The Arabic word shathiya means “quake, move, vibrate, and overflow,” and it is derived from the root sh-t-h (شطح) .It is most commonly a Sufi phrase indicating very pompous and illogical remarks, which Sufis utter without comprehending shathiya-type texts’ meaning. Shathiya, which are texts with oblique phrases recounting the poet’s situations, use symbolic language. Commentaries are needed to enable optimal understanding of texts that require the reader to engage with the language at a level that goes beyond its practical application. However, these commentaries typically interpret Yunus Emre’s poetry as based on the tenets of Sufi philosophy. Such limited consideration has spurred the emergence of a one-sided approach to Yunus Emre’s poetry. We propose that the statement “Whatever Yunus says cannot be compared to other discourse” can, in fact, be perceived as an invitation for readers to defy the existing one-sided approach and establish different approaches to interpret his poetry that is typically distant from rationality. Ironically, the fact that Yunus Emre’s poetry is distant from rationality, does not convey its meaning clearly at first glance, and “cannot be compared to other discourses” should be reason enough for readers to overthrow such one-sided discourses and realize the limitless scope of interpretation that Yunus Emre’s poetry has to offer.
In this context, if readers rejected the predominant approach of considering Yunus Emre’s poetry from a shathiya perspective and interpreted it differently, would they arrive at the inference that the “irrational” elements in Yunus Emre’s poetry correspond to the characteristics of the stream-of-consciousness genre but without a direct indication to the idea being implied?. In other words, can the fact that Yunus Emre’s poems entail words that do not directly reconcile with one another—typically taking the reader by surprise— enable readers to interpret such texts as works of stream-of-consciousness fiction? When Yunus Emre says “climbing to the branches of the plum tree and eating grapes,” is he concurrently referring to his intellectual journey? Thus, can we observe Yunus Emre’s stream of consciousness through the poetic images that noticeably do not reconcile with one another in terms of meaning? In such a case, can the readers, upon being confronted with the contradictory images in Yunus Emre’s poems, journey to another realm of meaning by diverting themselves from the physical environments that surround them and merge with the intellectual environment of the poet’s perpetual consciousness?
We assert that the poem with the line “I climbed to the branches of a plum tree” as well as other poems of the shathiya type might well be reflections of the relative disorganization in the speaker’s consciousness (depending on the technique of stream of consciousness), and the thoughts in the speaker’s consciousness might overflow and shake the poet (based on the meaning of shathiya). Thus readers ultimately transcend the symbolic implications of the text and arrive at the realm of alternative interpretation