Disiplinlerarası Çalışmalar Dergisi Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

Cahit Zarifoğlu’s Poetics: From “Image” to “Meaning”

Since the 1960’s, “image” has been one of the most prominent issues in Turkish Poetry. Defenders of the modernist poetry, such as the representatives of the İkinci Yeni (Second New), frequently used “image” as a poetic term, claiming that the poetic language is different from the everyday language. Those who oppose to such a distinct, autonomous poetic language, on the other hand, argue that poems written within this view are “meaningless”. Cahit Zarifoğlu, who had started writing poems in the 1960’s, also had to deal with the concepts of “image” and “meaning”. His poetry can be analyzed within two periods: From the mid-1960’s to the late 1970’s, he defended an autonomous, poetic language and image. However, starting from the late 1970’s, Zarifoğlu abandoned this approach, which was related to esthetical autonomy; and subsequently he adopted an understanding of a poetry with political references. Though he claimed that his understanding of poetry had not changed since the beginning, he had to work out his way through the difficulties in writing poetry which is both autonomous and political. This radical change that Zarifoğlu’s poetry experienced is also open to consideration in terms of Harold Bloom’s concept of the “anxiety of influence” within the context of the poet’s relationship with the İkinci Yeni. Yalçın ARMAĞAN
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