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Turkish poetry begins with the passion of an unknown lover
1.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 19 Oct 2008 Sun 03:29 am

  We have tried to give the chief Turkish poets in somewhat chronological order, beginning with their first poet Ashiq, who died in 1332 and whose very name is forgotten, since ashiq means merely "the lover." In other words, Turkish poetry begins with the passion of an unknown lover, not apparently for woman, but for life and God. The collected poems of Ashiq are called a "divan," the usual Persian and Turkish word for such collections; but very little of the divan of Ashiq has survived. Among Turkish epic poets, the earliest is Ahmedi (died 1412), who wrote the Book of Alexander the Great. The first romantic song is that of Sheykhi (1426) on the loves of the maiden Shireen. The first religious epic is that of Yaziji-Oglu (1449), called the Book of Mohammed. These, then, were the early singers. Of poets accounted of the highest rank, the earliest was Nejati (1508). Lamii was the scholar poet, a dervish or monk who delved into the older Persian literature and drew his themes perhaps from ancient Zoroastrian tales. He is usually named as the second greatest of Turkish poets. Gazali, Buzuli, and Nabi were also noted singers of the sixteenth century, which was the great age of the Turkish Empire, both in literature and in military glory.

    Of the two poetesses on our list, Mihri has been called the Turkish Sappho. Yet as the life of a Turkish woman of rank is carefully secluded, no scandal ever attached to her personal life. Her poems are mere dreams of fancy. Zeyneb was equally honored, a lady of high rank and a student of the Persian and Arabic poets.


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