Research Article


DOI :10.26650/jos.984132   IUP :10.26650/jos.984132    Full Text (PDF)

The Theme of “Hopelessness” Among the Diwan School Poets: The Example of Abbas al-Akkad

Rümeysa Zeynep Uylaş

The formation of a new literary movement—as a result of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the nationalist movement that dominated the world—gave rise to many new tendencies and schools of thought. Poetry, the most important tool influencing the Arab masses appeared as nationalist and political poetry,as a reflection of modern society, and as anti-colonial poetry born of the French and British occupations. Especially after the 19th century, the literati and intellectuals in Egypt and Syria carefully followed the pioneered literary, political, and ideological movements. For example, there was the Neoclassical School formed by Baroudi (1839–1904), Ahmed Shawqy (1868–1932), and Hafez Ibrahim (1871–1932). It focused on the revival of Arabic poetry and considered ancient poetry as an inspiration for its structure and subjects. Subsequently, the poets of the Diwan School, consisting of Abbas al-Akkad (1889–1964), Ibrahim Abdel Rahman Shokry (1886–1958), and Abdal-Qadir al-Mazny (1890–1949), performed a series of innovations in Arabic poetry and literary criticism, and led the modern literary movements that followed, such as Mahjar and Apollo. This movement, which focuses on modern poetry in Arabic literature, includes a completely different perspective from ancient poetry. Specifically, the value of poetry is in the sincerity of the poet’s feelings (sidku’ş-şi’r). The theme of “hopelessness,” which came to the forefront because of the social and political dilemmas and uncertainties that dominated the period and the influence of Western Romantic poets, is clearly seen in their poems. Thus, we examine this particular theme by using the example of Abbas al-Akkad, the strongest representative of this school.

DOI :10.26650/jos.984132   IUP :10.26650/jos.984132    Full Text (PDF)

Abbas el-Akkâd Örnekliğinde Dîvan Ekolü Şairlerinde Ümitsizlik Teması

Rümeysa Zeynep Uylaş

Osmanlı Devleti’nin yıkılması sonucunda yeni devletlerin oluşması ve dünyaya hâkim olan milliyetçilik akımı, birçok yeni yönelişi ve ekolü beraberinde getirdi. Arap toplumunda kitleleri etkileyen en önemli araç ve hayatın odak noktası olan şiir, modern dönemde toplumun bir yansıması olarak milliyetçi ve siyasi şiir, hemen ardından Fransız ve İngiliz işgallerinin doğurduğu sömürge karşıtı şiir olarak karşımıza çıkar. Özellikle 19. yy.’dan sonra edebiyatçıları, fikir insanları ve eserleri dikkatle takip edilen Mısır ve Suriye, edebi, siyasi ve ideolojik akımlara öncülük etti. 19. yy. sonlarında Arap şiirinin ihyası amacıyla Barûdî (1839-1904), Ahmed Şevki (1868-1932) ve Hâfız İbrahim (1871-1932) tarafından kurulan NeoKlasik Ekol, yapısında ve konularında kadim şiiri örnek almıştır. Peşlerinden gelen Abbas el-Akkâd (1889-1964), Abdülkadir Mâzinî (1890-1949) ve Abdurrahman Şükrî (1886-1958)’den oluşan Dîvan Ekolü şairleri ise, Arap şiirinde ve edebi tenkitte bir dizi yenileşme gerçekleştirmişler, kendilerinden sonra gelen Mehcer ve Apollo gibi modern edebi akımlara birçok konuda önderlik etmişlerdir. Bu ekol, Arap edebiyatında modern şiire yön veren medrese olup şiirin muhtevasında, hatta şiir algısında kadim şiirden tamamen farklı bir bakış açısına sahiptir. Dîvan Ekolüne göre, şiirin değeri şairin duygularının samimiyeti (sıdku’ş-şi’r) ölçüsündedir. Döneme hâkim olan sosyal, siyasi çıkmazlar ve belirsizlikler, ayrıca beslendikleri Batılı romantik şairlerin etkisiyle öne çıkan ümitsizlik, şiirlerinde açıkça görülmektedir. Bu makalede yeni bir şiir geleneği oluşturan ekolün en güçlü temsilcisi Akkâd örnekliğinde, acı çeken, özgürlük arayışındaki bir halkın hissettiği ümitsizlik temasının Dîvan Ekolü şairlerindeki yansımasını ele aldık. 


EXTENDED ABSTRACT


The social change that occurred at the end of the 19th century and the cultural contact between the Arab civilization and the West led to the formation of modern literary movements. The Diwan School, in particular, offers an innovative perspective of next-generation poets by considering the aspects of previous periods. As the strongest representative of this school, the example of Abbas al-Akkad (1889–1964) and the theme of “hopelessness” is critical. In order to better understand the concept of poetry, the historical, literary, and political conditions surrounding this poet are also mentioned.

In general, there is significant literature in the Arab world on Abbas al-Akkad (who produced many works in different genres) and his influence on modern literature. However, this study on Akkad is limited to the theme of “hopelessness,” which came to the forefront in the poems of the Diwan School. This school, represented by Abbas al-Akkad, Ibrahim Abdel Rahman Shokry (1886–1958), and Abdel-Qadir al-Mazny (1890–1949), made a series of innovations in both poetry and criticism, and pioneered the Apollo and Mahjar Schools that followed. Moreover, these three poets brought a different perspective to Arabic poetry as a whole. However, the group disbanded soon after its establishment (due to the plagiarism debate and mutual criticism between Shokry and Mazny), leaving Akkad to singlehandedly act as the “flag bearer” of this school. Thus, the present study examines the background of the Diwan School, its main features, and Akkad’s poetry in light of the aforementioned theme.

After Muhammad Ali Pasha (1769–1849) took over as the de facto leader of Egypt, education in foreign languages emerged, while the literary and intellectual heritage of the West was transferred into the Arabic literature. Meanwhile, the efforts of libertarian intellectual poets and writers, who aimed to find their own identity, led to the formation of many literary schools. For example, the Neoclassical School, led by Baroudi (1839–1904) and considered as the beginning of modern poetry, aimed to return the poetry of the Arab heritage to its superior age. While Baroudi and his students Ahmed Shawqy (1868–1932), Hafez Ibrahim (1871–1932), and Khalil Motran (1869–1949) mainly adhered to classical Arabic poetry, they frequently included national feelings, due to the conjuncture brought about by the period. In this regard, by expressing the feelings, sorrows, and hopes of the people, they brought innovations in the subjects of their poems.

When examining the main features of the Diwan School, we can see that they are simple in their expressions, they regard meaning as superior to words and siga (poetic flow), and they focus on the human spirit down to the smallest detail. Unlike the previous Neoclassical School, they did not write praise poems to kings, viziers, or rulers. Instead, they focused on the themes of pessimism and despair in the world. While the disappointments experienced as a result of the French Revolution’s failure to provide the expected libertarian, democratic, and prosperous life, the same crisis was met with the political uncertainties and future concerns created by the colonial environment in Arab countries.

As for this school, sincere expression of emotions in poetry was its most important guide. For this reason, Akkad rejected his poems to be a defense of any ideology, and criticized the previous schools for such views. According to Akkad, poetry should be used as a tool in the expression of “hopelessness,” especially in a society that has been successively colonized by Western countries. On the other hand, it should also be used to energize a society to overcome such emotions. In the present study, there are examples in which melancholy, hopelessness, and sadness prevail in all Diwan School poets. In particular, in Akkad’s poetry, we see that he does not stagnate in “hopelessness” in order to achieve his societal goal. On the contrary, he instills hope by talking about his belief about the “good days to come.” For example, after the “hopelessness” in his couplets bayits, in which he expressed the problems of the suffering and oppressed masses, he aimed to transform them with his poetry and give them hope. It should be noted that this school did not disappear under the influence of Western Romanticism, and the literature, infused with Islamic philosophy, guided future generations of writers. 


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APA

Uylaş, R.Z. (2022). The Theme of “Hopelessness” Among the Diwan School Poets: The Example of Abbas al-Akkad. Journal of Oriental Studies, 0(40), 235-252. https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.984132


AMA

Uylaş R Z. The Theme of “Hopelessness” Among the Diwan School Poets: The Example of Abbas al-Akkad. Journal of Oriental Studies. 2022;0(40):235-252. https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.984132


ABNT

Uylaş, R.Z. The Theme of “Hopelessness” Among the Diwan School Poets: The Example of Abbas al-Akkad. Journal of Oriental Studies, [Publisher Location], v. 0, n. 40, p. 235-252, 2022.


Chicago: Author-Date Style

Uylaş, Rümeysa Zeynep,. 2022. “The Theme of “Hopelessness” Among the Diwan School Poets: The Example of Abbas al-Akkad.” Journal of Oriental Studies 0, no. 40: 235-252. https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.984132


Chicago: Humanities Style

Uylaş, Rümeysa Zeynep,. The Theme of “Hopelessness” Among the Diwan School Poets: The Example of Abbas al-Akkad.” Journal of Oriental Studies 0, no. 40 (Jul. 2022): 235-252. https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.984132


Harvard: Australian Style

Uylaş, RZ 2022, 'The Theme of “Hopelessness” Among the Diwan School Poets: The Example of Abbas al-Akkad', Journal of Oriental Studies, vol. 0, no. 40, pp. 235-252, viewed 6 Jul. 2022, https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.984132


Harvard: Author-Date Style

Uylaş, R.Z. (2022) ‘The Theme of “Hopelessness” Among the Diwan School Poets: The Example of Abbas al-Akkad’, Journal of Oriental Studies, 0(40), pp. 235-252. https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.984132 (6 Jul. 2022).


MLA

Uylaş, Rümeysa Zeynep,. The Theme of “Hopelessness” Among the Diwan School Poets: The Example of Abbas al-Akkad.” Journal of Oriental Studies, vol. 0, no. 40, 2022, pp. 235-252. [Database Container], https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.984132


Vancouver

Uylaş RZ. The Theme of “Hopelessness” Among the Diwan School Poets: The Example of Abbas al-Akkad. Journal of Oriental Studies [Internet]. 6 Jul. 2022 [cited 6 Jul. 2022];0(40):235-252. Available from: https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.984132 doi: 10.26650/jos.984132


ISNAD

Uylaş, RümeysaZeynep. The Theme of “Hopelessness” Among the Diwan School Poets: The Example of Abbas al-Akkad”. Journal of Oriental Studies 0/40 (Jul. 2022): 235-252. https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.984132



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Submitted18.08.2021
Accepted10.02.2022
Published Online04.03.2022

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