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Hilseyin Lamekani: Ein osmanischer Dichter und Mystiker und sein literarisches Werk. (Review of Books).

Hilseyin Lamekani: Ein osmanischer Dichter und Mystiker und sein literarisches Werk. By SLOBODAN ILIC. Studien und Texte zur Literatur des Orients, vol. 8. Wiesbaden: HARRASSOWITZ VERLAG, 1999. Pp. 216. DM 138.

A short Turkish divan--ninety-three poems--is the subject of this welcome monograph. Lamekani, originally from Pest in Hungary, became shaykh of the Melami tekke (dervish lodge) in Istanbul, where he died in 1625. He was one of several dozen Sufi or "tekke" poets of the seventeenth century, the most celebrated of whom was Niyazi-i Misri (d. 1693; see the critical edition of his divan by Kenan Erdogan [Ankara: Akcag, 1998]). Aside from a few articles by William Hickman and Walter Feldman, Turkish tekke poetry has been little studied outside of Turkey. Ilic does a good job of tracing the sources for LameKani's life, situating him in the context of the Melami tariqat, and analyzing the divan. He makes no attempt to contextualize the poetry in its social setting, as e.g., Walter Feldman does in "Mysticism, Didacticism and Authority in the Liturgical Poetry of the Halveti Dervishes of Istanbul," Edebiyat NS 4 (1993): 243-65. One of the poems that Feldman discusses, by Cemal-i Halveti (d. 1494?), beginning Safha-i sadrinda da'im asiqin efkar-i Hu, appears to be the model for no. 55 in Lamekani's divan, beginning 'Ard edub bezm-i ezelde astqa didar-i Hu.

Ilic, who got interested in the Melami tariqat when he was a student of Orientalistics at the University of Sarajevo in the mid-1980s, discovered a complete MS of Lamekani's divan in the Gazi-Husrev-Beg Library. The facsimiles which appear in the book, appended to the transcription and translation of each poem, are mainly drawn from this MS. The book is a revision of a 1996 dissertation from the University of Bamberg. In my judgment, it ought to have been revised quite a bit more before publication. The Turkish text is an editio princeps rather than a critical edition. True, most of the poems occur only in the two complete MSS, the Sarajevo one just mentioned (GBH 3049) and an Istanbul one (SUL Halet Ef. 800), and the critical apparatus does mention the variants in each. But there is no attempt to analyze and compare the MSS with a view to assessing their interrelationship. No attention is paid to the several marginal corrections (marked 'sh) in the MS whose facsimile is given. The metrical analysis is freque ntly mistaken. There are numerous misreadings and other errors. And the translation, while usually accurate, sometimes shows a weak grasp of the Turkish original or of Sufi doctrine. I will give a few examples to illustrate these points (references such as 3.5 mean poem no. 3, line 5).

3.5 Mal u cah sehvet u 'aceb u riyayt terk ede, "Er muss sine Habe, Stellung, Begierde, Staunen und Hypokrisie verlassen." The line does not scan, and 'aceb does not fit with the other items to be given up. The correct reading is: Mal u cah u sehvet u ucb u riyayt terk ede, "He should give up wealth, fame, desire, vanity and hypocrisy." Again at 53.3 'aceb "Verwunderung" should be 'ucb "vanity."

4.4 Ozun der gonlune gir tasra gezme, "Dein Wesen spricht. Tritt in dein Herz ein, irre nicht umher." Der has to be understood as the imperative of dermek. The line means: "Gather yourself together, enter your own heart, don't wander abroad." The phrase recurs at 74.6 where it is understood correctly: der ozun, "sammele dein Wesen."

6.4,9 Note marginal corrections, permitting the two verses to scan properly: vasil for nasib, Ma'nide for Haqiqat.

9.4 Yuzi soyina at mahun bagisla curmumuz saha, "Lass das Gesicht dieses Mondsantlitzes enthullen, vergib unsere Sunden, oh Du Herrscher." The subject is the Prophet Muhammad, compared (in beauty) to the moon. The initial phrase must be read Yuzi suyzna (Tk. yuz suyt = Pers. db-i ru "honor"); the verse means: "For the sake of that moon's honor, forgive our sins, O King."

11.1,2 ad u sifati terk edub, "verlass deinen Namen und Titel"; terk-i ser eyle, "verlass die Vernunft." Neither verse scans if read thus; correct to: ad u sani terk edub, "give up name and reputation"; terk-i seyr eyle, "give up travelling" (cf. 14.5).

12.7 Taqaleyne ozun sultan gelubdur/Yarasur kim butardan atasun bac, "Der Sultan deines Herzens ist zu den Geschdpfen Gottes gekommen. Es ziemt sich, dass er von ihnen den Tribut nimmt." Alasun is incorrect for alasin; the verse means: "You have come to the two weighty ones (i.e., men and jinn) as sultan: it is proper that you exact a toll from them."

13.8 Geregumuz kevneyn maqsudsin salh / Bulendi senden ozge ma siva Allah, "Du bist alles wonach wir streben in beiden Welten, oh Konig. / Nur Allah ist erhabener als Du." Again, both meter and sense require adjustments: Gerekmez du cihan [thus GHB 3049] maqsudsin sah / Bilindi senden ozge ma siva 'llah, "We have no need for both worlds (i.e., this world and the next); our goal is you, O king (i.e., Muhammad). / What is known aside from you is what is other than God."

15.5 Yuregin qinadub, "Das eigene Herz zu bestrafen." Read qaynadub "To make the heart boil" (cf. 24.7).

16.3 Pute-i gamda cunkim artdi, "Als der Krug des Kummers uberfullt wurde." Read aritdi: "When (s)he purified me in the crucible of grief." The meter of this poem, and also of nos. 20 and 22, is not remel but hafif

17.5 Seylillah eyle agzi yarini, "Mach gottlich den Tau von ihren Lippen." The phrase sey'lillah, "something for God's sake," is the plea of a beggar (also occurs at 9.5, 13.8, 39.4). The verse means: "Make the beggar's plea your saliva"--i.e., keep it ever on your lips. The meter of this poem, and also of no. 23, is not recez but the syllabic meter 5-5.

25.1 vech-i husn, "jede Form der Schonheit." Read: vech-i hasan, "beautiful face."

31.7 Mihre erisim, "Lass uns die Liebste erreichen," Mihr might mean "love" (not "the beloved"), but it can also mean sun and indeed must mean that here, since later in this verse it is contrasted as usual with zerre, "mote" (cf. 73.9; also 8.1,3,19.1,22.4,49.3,89). Read: Mihre erisem, "Let me reach the sun."

33.4 Sana senlikden ozune kufr u isyan olmaya hergiz, "Damit in dein Herz nie die Sunde und Blasphemie wegen deines 'Ich' kommen." Ozune cannot be correct, since it means the same as safla, and since it ruins the meter; the correct reading is ozge: "Other than your ego you will never have infidelity and rebellion."

35.3 (sixth verse) tabi u 'ilm, "Dummheit und Wissen." Read: tabl u 'alem, "drum and banner."

35.5 (fourth verse) hem nedur, "und was das ist." Read: semender, "a salamander."

35.6 (tenth verse) Evvela niceydi ahir ne u ladan gecmisuz, "Wir waren Vielheit, am Ende sind wit durchs Nichts gegangen." Read: Evvela niceydi ya ahir noladan gecmisuz, "We have passed beyond 'What was at first?' or 'What will be at last?"'

42.13 tori gel, "komm!" Read: furt gel, "stand up!"

45.5 Va'de-i didar gel ummid eyte / Bir dahi bar har olumam, "Komm zum Treffen mit der Liebsten, verliere nicht die Hoffnung. / Noch einmal enttauscht kann ich nicht scm." Neither verse scans properly. The mention of har "thorn" suggests gill, "rose' rather than gel, "come." Bar does not fit the meter or the sense; the alternate (reading in the other M5) ba is preferable. Thus: Va'de-i didar-z gul ummid ile / Bir dahi ba bar olumam, "With hope of seeing the rose, I can no longer live with the thorn."

46.3 Rabmeti yoqdur naceb qardasinun qardasina, "Ich sehe keine Barmherzigkeit von Bruder zu Bruder." The correct reading is Rahmi yoqdur ne 'aceb; the verse means, "How amazing that a brother has no family feeling for his brother." The meter of this poem is not Failaran failatuan failatun failun, but Failatun feilatun feilatun feilun.

56.15 Bit ki, "Wisse." Read: Betki, "Rather." The meter of this poem is not Failatin feilatun feilatan falun, but Mufteilun failun mufteilun failun (falun).

62. The meter of this poem is not recez but hafif.

66.1 canibe does not fit the meter; read yana, as in the marginal correction. The meter of this poem is not remel but hafif.

70.8 Ol ne derse ani tut ol nekiri, "Was auch er sagst, nimm Seine Weisheit an." The last word should be read nokeri; the verse means: "Accept whatever He says, be His servant."

72.2 Ne gevher bilki miftah-i sa'adet, "Wisse, was fur em Juwel der Schlussel des Gluckes ist." The third word is belki; the verse means: "Not a jewel (referring to the previous verse, where the poet claimed that he possessed a jewel worth myriads of souls), rather the key of happiness."

73.8 Coqdur climle, "Viel ist vorbei." Read: Cii Haqdtr climle, "Because God is all."

78.4 Qonmasa cumleten ard u semavat / Muqabil mi olur tevhide seyyihat, "Wenn man nicht den Himmel und die Erde zusammenlegt, / Konnen die schlehten Taten der Gotteseinheit gleichkommen?" Read: Qonulsa yer ile ard u semavat/Muqabil mi olur tevhide heyhat, "If earth and heaven were put (on one side of the scale) would they be equal to proclaiming God's unity? God forbid!"

84 Yuz Qafla dahi artuq bu yolda gelub gecdi bil/Bu tarafa hal ki hic birinun peyi askare degul, "Tausend Kaf-Berge kamen und gingen. /Hier hat keiner eine Spur hinterlassen." Read qafile; Omit dahi; read turfa: "Know that a thousand caravans have come and gone on this road. / The strange thing is that none has left a trace behind."
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Author:Dankoff, Robert
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 2001
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