Saturday, November 27

The owner of “Mona Rosa” and “40 Hours with the Greens” .. the departure of Sazai Qaraquj, the poet of modernist poems and the Islamic trend

Yesterday, Tuesday, the Turkish poet, writer and thinker Sazai Karakoj passed away at the age of 88, and many intellectuals, politicians and writers mourned him in his homeland and around the world.

He published his first literary works in the fifties of the last century in the magazine “Al-Sharq al-Kabir”, and wrote daily articles in the newspaper “Yeni Istanbul” (i.e. New Istanbul) beginning in 1963.

The poet entered the hearts of poetry lovers through his poem “Mona Rosa”, which he wrote in the fifties and became one of the masterpieces of modern Turkish poetry. The poet wrote articles in a number of newspapers, such as Yeni Istiklal, Yeni Istanbul, Sabah, and Milli.

The poet was born in 1933 in the Arghani district of Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, where he completed his primary studies, and middle school in Maraş, and finished high school in Gaziantep in 1950.

In 1955, he graduated from the Finance Department of Ankara University, and took charge of the literary and art pages of the magazine “Al-Sharq al-Kabir” in the fifties.

Karakoj worked as an employee in the Ministry of Finance, and moved to Istanbul in 1959 by virtue of his position, and performed military service in Ankara and was tempted in 1960-1961.

Later, the poet resigned from his official job, to devote himself to his literary work, and in 1990 founded the “Direlish” party (meaning resurrection or awakening, a concept that accompanies him morally and intellectually) and assumed leadership of the party for 7 years, and the party was closed in 1997.

Since that date, the poet Qaraquj has only written in the magazine “Direlish”, where he sought for the revival of the Islamic world again after the defeats in the world wars.

During his literary career, he worked to awaken awareness about this concept, and made efforts at the poetic, intellectual and political levels for the awakening of the Islamic world.

Poet of Sufism and Revival

Sazai Karakoj is described as the pioneer of Turkish “metaphysical” poetry. The late poet’s literary roots ranged between the modernist poem and being influenced by the history of Islamic civilization, as a result of his interest in Western literature and Islamic thought alike. He considered that abstraction in modern art is suitable for understanding Islam and has developed his poems in this direction.

In his introduction to the translation of the Diwan “Forty Hours with the Greens,” the academic and translator Abdel Razek Barakat wrote that Qaraquj is a wonderful example of poetry that combines the honor and grandeur of the cause and the splendor and beauty of art.

Also, the Diwan is the only one in contemporary Turkish poetry that takes the religious character of (Al-Khidr) as a axis, and its revelations permeate all the Diwan’s 40 poems, mixed with the poet’s voice in a cohesive tapestry in which the spirit of the past, present and future flows.

The translator says that Qaraquj grew up in the midst of a civilizational ambivalence that pervaded the Islamic world, yet he was influenced by the mystical poetry of Jalal al-Din al-Rumi, Yunus Emre, Sheikh Ghalib, Hafez al-Shirazi, Ibn Arabi and others, and was also influenced by the letters of light written by Sheikh Badiuzzaman Saeed Nursi (died in Urfa 1960).

The Islamic poet Najib Fadel (died 1983), who carried the banner of the Islamic trend in modern Turkish literature after the pioneer of that trend, was the poet Muhammed Akif Ersoy (died 1936), the writer of the Turkish national anthem.

The funeral prayer for the late poet was attended by a group of his fans at the ancient Shahzadeh Mosque in Istanbul (Anatolia Agency)

vegetables and heritage

Barakat, a professor at Ain Shams University, says that the religious, historical, mythological, epic and folklore heritage is a certain one that the contemporary poet selects from his characters, symbols and events, which are characterized by renewal through symbol, mask and objective equivalent. The religious is an axis whose revelations run throughout his poems in a concerted fabric that employs an Islamic vision of the crisis of the contemporary present.

Qaraquj adopts the concept of “Islamic revival”, which was adopted by many thinkers and writers in the twentieth century, and says, assuming the personality of al-Khidr: “The arid cities exist, and al-Khidhr.. brings to it the light.. falling from the splitting of the moon.. and there will come an evening in which the young people will return to leave the cities..”.

Al-Khidr in that Diwan is a mask for Qaraquj that he uses to preach a reform message and a wise approach to dealing with reality and taking care of people’s interests. He says in poetry: “We are the greens..we know the sources of the water of life in the world..Our prayers purify us like luminous torches..we shine in fasting with Jesus and Mary..psalms David is in our ears.. and the verses of the Gospel are in our memory.. and the kingdoms of the Torah are in front of our eyes.. we go in front of the Water of Life Corps.. as a leader riding an authentic Arab horse.. we open the country.. and with us are the tablets of the Sinai phase.. and the army of the Qur’an..

Diwan forty hours with vegetablesDiwan “Forty Hours with Greens” by the late poet Sazai Qaraquj was issued in Turkish and translated into Arabic (Al-Jazeera)

In the context of his intellectual project, Qaraquj sees that the challenges of Islamic revival are the separation of the nation’s present from its past, fragmentation and arrangements, and expresses this in poetry by saying:

“On one of the nights of fate… the fate of Muslims… who tasted the torment of the ants above the earth began to change… they are the poorest, most crushed, defeated, and tormented.. silent.. forced to silence, forced to change and alter, they are the acid of history Their waterfalls are overflowing, but they are deprived of a drink of water! They are stripped, they are thrown out of geography, and outside the logic of harvest.. They cast ashes over their children.. They are suspicious of the dawn, mocking the day.

Karakouj, according to his Arabic translator, criticizes alienation and Muslims’ susceptibility to colonization, and says in poetry, “My brother Ibrahim taught me… how to destroy the idols of alabaster? Not a day went by without me destroying one of them… but you did not teach me… how to erase what is in the data, words and papers….” .

He criticizes the followers of the West in its culture and the civilizational alienation of Muslims, saying, “It was not necessary to travel, because it is with strangers… who are enveloped in darkness… and because it is a journey to the snowy mountains… and you have been burned by the fire of the sun’s rays.”

Qaraquj talked about isolation and return from it, represented by the return of Moses – peace be upon him – from Mount Sinai with the Torah, the return of Mary – peace be upon her – from the place from which she was exiled, and the return of the Messenger Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, from the cave of Hira with the verses of the Qur’an. I enter the city.. I enter it like spring rain.. I take care of its roses.. I purify its waters, I tend its alabaster, its coffins, its wreckage, its filthy burnt shirts, and its withered eyelashes.

His literary and political doctrine

Qaraquj explained his understanding of poetry in 3 books titled “Literary Writings.” His friend, the famous Turkish poet Jamal Soraya (died 1990) praised Sufi poetry created by Sazai Qaraquj, describing him as a poet who mixes Muhammad Akef and Najib Fadel.

Qaraquj also deals with traditional poetry, but its language is different; He wrote his poems in the language of modern poetry, and Qaraquj was known for taking care of his poetry with abstraction, which brought him into contact with modern art based on abstraction in general as well.

According to him, if the poet leaves the poem at the level of abstraction, it will be incomplete, and to complete it, the poet must rebuild, that is, put the thing he abstracted into a new context.

Qaraquj also stresses that the poet must live his poetic principles and imitate them and be on his own nature, and be self-sufficient and satisfied with himself and love his work “and caress him and condone his evil as well.”

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