THE FRONTIER LORD OF TURKISH POETRY: REREADING OF ILHAN BERKS ISTANBUL IN THE CONTEXT OF TURKISH MODERNISM

Abstract

Author(s): Murat LLEC?

Modernism, which was established as a civilization project based on reason and scientific ideas, created its own texts in non-western societies within the context of their own cultural geography. Preceding the Tanzimat, Turkish modernism, as one of the non-western modernization processes, started closely interacting with western modernism; however, it was not until the second half of the 20th century that modern-industrialized society started to reflect on Turkish literary texts. The Second New movement generated a distinct sentiment in to modern Turkish poetry, through its innovative language, its investigative approach towards existence, and interrogative attitude towards Modernism.This is an inquisitive attempt to understand ?lhan Berk, one of the leading poets of the Second New movement, and his poem Istanbul within the context of Modernism. In order to situate Berk’s poetics, I willconduct a close reading of Berk’s poem Istanbul. Berk, a modernist poet whose aesthetics is often associated with the Second New movement, stands out in modern Turkish poetry in terms of his style, versatility of structure and poetic imagery. An attentive reading of his poem Istanbul not only reflects Turkish modernism but also defines the aesthetic imprints of how modernism is perceived in a given time and milieu. Berk, who, in his literary essays, gave one of the first modern manifestations of Turkish poetry, Berk, reflects the existential conditions of the modern individual in the aesthetic plaque of poetry, with a social attentiveness. The poet, who, as a city wonderer, experimented the city through the lenses of modernism, has given one of the first and most striking examples of the interaction between modern society and modern individual.

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