Fıtnat Hanım

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Zübeyde Fitnat Zübeyde Fitnat Hanım is known as an intelligent and sensitive poet among Ottoman woman poets. His father Shaykh al-Islam Mehmet Esat Efendi has a collection of poetry (divan) himself. According to old sources, Fitnat Hanım’s husband, Rumeli Kazasker Dervish Mehmet Efendi was a somewhat ignorant and naïve man. Nihat Sami Banarlı states the following about Fitnat Hanım:

Although she was not a great poet, she was a well-known and unforgotten woman poet with her good Turkish, her harmonious and sensitive poetry, her intelligence, her repartee, her close proximity to Koca Ragip Pasha, who is remembered with his grandeur, her presence in his circle, the rumour that there was a romantic relation between them and anecdotes related concerning all these. However, she remains within the frames of the Ottoman poetry she herself reads, she sings pleasantly, but resonant of male poets, their emotions, thoughts and forms of diction. In her inability to incorporate her own personality and gender into her poems is one of the results of her coming from the tradition of nazire, writing responsive poetry in the same form of the poem being responded to. Some of Fitnat Hanım’s odes were told in the style of Nabi-Koca Ragip Hasmet Pasha’s elocution and in a style that values the words and thoughts of philosophy. However, among her odes there were lively narrations reminiscent of the poet of the century, Nedim, as well. Fitnat Hanım’s collection, divan was published in Istanbul in 1869. In this work, there are historical poems and some riddles on accession, birth, death, nomination and development in addition to eulogies, odes, musammat and songs. That there are quite a few copies of this work shows that it was shown continuous interest.

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