Beyond Friendship and Hostility

Beyond Friendship and Hostility

Konuşanlar, Bir Hüzünle Sesinde (2015, Can Publications) consists of Ziya Osman Saba’s articles, talks, and letters, which were published in magazines and newspapers. Sincerity is the prominent element in Ziya Osman Saba’s articles, talks, and letters, as it is also in his poems and stories.  

No artificiality is found in any text written by Saba. He doesn’t write anything he doesn’t think or feel. That must be why his articles are very impressive. There are sadness, pain, and tears in his texts where he tells especially about his friend Cahit Sıtkı Tarancı. The reader takes his/her own share of it. Interestingly, Saba is very realistic in his writings despite the intensity of emotions. We can use realism in terms of honesty. We do not see him attempt to favor Tarancı’s behavior or praise the merits he does not bear just because he is a friend. Saba writes what he saw and experienced. He does not hesitate to point out the unpleasant aspects of the person he describes, along with good aspects.

We see the same realism in his poetry articles. Saba had adopted the lyrical, “pure poetry” vein of Turkish poetry and had written poems in this direction. The poets in his poems, whom he made comparisons before making any judgments in his articles, were generally the representatives of pure poetry. For instance, he often gives examples from Ahmet Haşim and Yahya Kemal, when criticizing a poem he wrote or trying to explain his ideas… That was why the poets he emphasized the most were Necip Fazıl Kısakürek, Ahmet Muhip Dıranas, Tarancı, and Oktay Rıfat. These poets are powerful representatives of lyrical poetry.

It is also possible to get an idea of the poetry movements of Saba’s period. When we look at the poets whom Saba considers, likes, and writes about, we see that they were fans of Baudelaire and Rimbaud, just like he was. Almost all of them are in search of innovation, rather they are on a quest. They write poems, but they do not neglect to write stories and novels. As Saba points out, the number of different poetry currents in the 1940s increased in such a degree as to press the person while making evaluation and classification. On one hand, the strong names of free verse Nazım Hikmet and Orhan Veli, on the other, the uncompromising representatives of the syllabic verse Necip Fazıl and Ahmet Muhip Dıranas, and side by side position of Asaf Halet Çelebi, Behçet Necatigil, Cahit Külebi and Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca whom we can call independent in the same magazine. Saba is one of those rare poets who, in this richness, can reveal his own lines in the clearest way, while respecting other lines and tries to understand them in places.

Saba tries to behave in her writings. He avoids overdoing criticism and praise. In Saba’s works, though, he does not express himself very clearly, we encounter an inexorable enthusiasm that he does not hesitate to announce under-handedly. We can call this the enthusiasm for love and life. He gets excited when he reads a beautiful poem. Or when a beautiful novel gets into his hand, -for instance, a novel by Abdülhak Şinasi Hisar- he does not hesitate to express his enthusiasm. All of his works can be read by tracing this enthusiasm. Then you can enjoy that serene and exquisite Turkish of Saba.


The Library of the Author

– Mitat Enç, Uzun Çarşının Uluları, Ötüken Neşriyat

– Ş. Teoman Duralı, Felsefe Bilimin Odağında Metafizik, Şule Publications

– Mesut Bostan, 40 Soruda Türk Sineması, Ketebe Publications

– Kemalettin Kamu, Gurbet Benim İçimde, Dergâh Publications