Fitnat Hanım (Zübeyde)

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[Photo image adopted from the Related Article as shown below]

For my last “Autumn Wednesdays” post, my memory took me to my early years of schooling when classes on Ottoman Literature were a requirement.  Not much different than the (especially, 18th and 19th century) European literary traditions, female poets and writers of earlier centuries commonly used a pen name also on the Euro-Asian continent we know today as Turkey.  Zübeyde (no known last name) of the 18th Ottoman century was no exception.  In the 19th century, a time period that witnessed translations of some of her poems in to Western languages, in literary circles she was considered one of the “female Sultans of the land of the poems.” (Also see in “Zaman”)

In her research article, “Kadın Şairlerimizden Zübeyde Fitnat Hanım” Meryem Zarifoğlu lends to her readers first in Ottoman and modern Turkish (subsequently) what she claims to be a very famous song among Fitnat Hanım’s poems:
Güller kızarır şerm ile ol gonca gülünce
Sünbül ham olur reşk ile kâkül bükülünce

Anka dahi olursa düşer pençe-i aşka
Sayd-ı dile sehbâz-ı nigâhın süzülünce

Ol gonca-i nâ-şükûfte olur gül gibi handân
Şebnem gibi eşk-i dil-i şeydâ dökülünce

Her târı birer mâr oluyor gene-i hüsnünde
Ruhsârına zülf-i siyehin şâne bulunca

Can virmek ise kasdın eğer aşk ile Fıtnat
Hâk-ı der-i dildârdan ayrılma ölünce

***

Güller utanıp kızarır, o gonca gibi güzel gülünce.
Sünbül kıskançlıktan eğilir o saç bükülünce.

Ankâ bile olsa askın pençesine düşer.
Bakışın doğanı gönlü avlamak için süzülünce.

O açılmamış gonca gül gibi güler açılır;
Çılgın gönlün gözyaşı, çiy gibi dökülünce.

Her bir teli yılan gibi oluyor güzellik hazinenin,
Siyah saçın, taranmaya başlayıp yanağına dokununca.

Ey Fıtnat, amacın aşk ile can vermekse,
Sevgilinin kapısı önündeki topraktan ayrılma ölünce.

In my own English translation from modern Turkish, the poem-song appears as follows:

Roses become bashful and blush, when that bud-like beauty smiles.

Out of envy, the hyacinth sags, when that tress curls.

Even if it were the phoenix, it will succumb to the talons of love.

When the hawk of that gaze glides to hunt the heart.

It will smile and blossom like the unopened rose bud;

When the tear of the mad heart pours like the dew.

Each strand of your beauty trove, your black hair, resembles a serpent,

When it touches your cheek while being combed.

Oh, Fitnat, if your intent is to lose your life with love,

Don’t leave the soil before your beloved’s door when you die.

 

Related Article (in Turkish)

Book on related topic (in English, with occasional Turkish sections)

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