Thinking in Poetry: Observations on the Poems of Melih Cevdet Anday And Özdemir AsafAlphan Akgül
In studies on the art of poetry, sound and image play a dominant role. As a natural consequence of the differences between prose and poetic language, the prevailing view is that poetry is an art separate from discourse based on sound, image, and concrete data from the outside world. In poetry, thoughts occasionally occur in didactic form and deep thinking, independent of sound and image. Modernist poets emphasized reason and opposed romantic poetry, where emotions find free expression. They preferred the cry of the mind to the cry of the heart. They expressed the depression of modern life in poems that outweighed the intellectual aspect. In modern Turkish poetry, some poets give works in this direction. This article begins with general information on the poems and ideas in Turkish literature. Next, Eliot and Pound’s views will be summarized, followed by Melih Cevdet Anday and Özdemir Asaf's work, where thoughts are highlighted rather than sound and image.
Şiirde Düşünmek: Melih Cevdet Anday ve Özdemir Asaf’in Şiirleri Üzerine GözlemlerAlphan Akgül
Şiir sanatı üzerine yapılan çalışmalarda ses ve imge baskın bir rol oynar. Düzyazı ile şiir dili arasında yapılan ayrımların doğal bir sonucu olarak, şiir sanatının söylevden ayrı, ses ve imge gibi dış dünyanın somut verilerine dayanan bir sanat olduğu görüşü hâkimdir. Buna karşın, şiirde düşünce, kimi zaman didaktik kimi zaman da şiirsel bir derin düşünme şeklinde, ses ve imgeden bağımsız olarak ortaya çıkmaktadır. Özellikle, duyguların denetimsiz bir şekilde dışa vurulduğu romantik şiire karşı çıkan modernist şairlerin akla yaptıkları vurgu, bu makalenin ağırlık noktasını oluşturur. Modernist şairler kalbin çığlığı yerine zihnin çığlığını tercih etmişler; modern yaşamın buhranını düşünsel yönü ağır basan şiirlerle dile getirmişlerdir. Modern Türk şiirinde de bu yönde eser veren şairlere rastlanır. Bu makalede, ilkin, Türk edebiyatında fikir şiirleri hakkında genel bir bilgi verilecek, ardından Eliot ve Pound’un görüşleri özetlenecek, sonra da Melih Cevdet Anday ve Özdemir Asaf’ın ses ve imgeden çok düşünceyi öne çıkardıkları şiirleri tartışılacaktır.
Poetry is literary art in which sound and visual images feature extensively. Therefore, the text analysis on poetry focuses on auditory and visual images. In Ottoman lyric poetry, music and visual images are more important than intellectual content. Modern Turkish poetry is the same. The French symbolists, who influenced Turkish poetry for a long time, tried to bring poetry to non-verbal music as much as possible by seeing thought as an element that sullied its purity. Yahya Kemal Beyatlı and Ahmet Haşim, referring to the symbolists, emphasized form and musical features of the language, more than meaning or idea, as essential in poetry. Therefore, the idea that poetry should be lyrical and musical became dominant in modern Turkish poetry. The transformation started in the 1950s and ended the dominance of sound patterns in poetry. By this time, visual images became dominant in poetry. The focus of poetic became the images that appeared in journals and books of that period. As verbal expression intensified in poetry, voice patterns or imaginary associations rather than ideas and meanings gained prominence. For the reader, poetry expresses a multidimensional visual world. There is no specific subject covered in these poems. Instead, there are image patterns and word associations that readers or critics must carefully decipher.
The prominence of sound and image in Turkish poetry studies neglected logical expressions. However, poetic expressions with logical propositions, such as humor, irony, and satire, have always been important in traditional and modern poetry. The philosophical style in Divan poetry (hikemî tarz), mystical teachings in Sufi poetry, in which conceptual issues such as freedom and equality after Tanzimat, show that poetry has an intellectual aspect. Even Tevfik Fikret, devoted to the aesthetics of poetry, especially its sound features, engaged in political discussions and put forth idealism in the most striking poems of his poetry career. In the poems of Yahya Kemal and Ahmet Haşim, followers of pure poetry, we come across lines that read like a philosophical proposition. There is always an intellectual aspect in the works of poets such as Nazım Hikmet, Necip Fazıl, Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca, and Orhan Veli Kanık although they have different styles and content. Although the poems of the “Second New” poets that emerged in the 1950s were interpreted as meaningless and abstract by the critics of the period, thought played an important role in the poems of these poets. These examples make it necessary to discuss the subject of thought in modern poetry, especially in modern Western poetry, where it is never excluded. How?
Modern Western poetry is not a follower of pure poetry, whose supporters claim that “all arts aspire the condition of music.” On the contrary, the prominent modernist poets of the twentieth century react to the chaotic era in which they live and therefore oppose both the sentimental poetry of the romantics and the melodic poetry in which the symbolists destroy the meaning and seek only an ambiguous purity. It does not mean that there is no emotion or musicality in their poetry; these poets transcend traditional poetic styles by equipping emotion with critical mind and musicality with intense intellectual content. Modernist poets bring intellectualism to poetry. They refer to mythology and anthropology and deal with the tension between tradition and modernism. In doing so, they always add a philosophical dimension to their poems. Thus, T. S. Eliot glorifies poets such as John Donne and Andrew Marvell, who were known as metaphysical poets and were active in the seventeenth century, because they could melt reason and emotion in a single pot. Ezra Pound, on the other hand, adds logical poetry (logopoeia) to his poetics, as well as sound and image. In modern Turkish poetry, some poets put the emotional side to the background and emphasize the mind, intelligence, and wit. In the poems of Melih Cevdet Anday and Özdemir Asaf, the lyrical expressions representing the “heart-cry” are replaced by the “mind cry,” and the visual imagery is supplanted by the “logical eye” that examines everything with a critical perspective.