عنوان مقاله [English]
Modern and postmodern periods are specified with their epistemological paradigm and its reflection can be found in all domains including literature and poetry. Iran’s postmodern poetry is among the latest contemporary poems which has attracted the attention of critics and the youth. Some group rejects it thoroughly and the others consider it as a violent reaction against imaginative and abstract contents of classical poetry and dominant social and historical discourse. They also consider its language and semantic denormalization resulting from these events. One of the major subjects in postmodern poetry is the reflection that women had in different spectrums. In some cases, it is suggestive of their states, behaviors and thoughts and specifies their aspects of identity in Iran’s contemporary society. Acts and manners which seem to be the results of historical and social conditions in which a woman wants to free herself from historical and traditional chains dominating her mind, and tries to experience ambiguous and unfamiliar identities. The experiences of unexpected and mysterious postmodern world are laid before her. Not still considering herself and traditional values in confrontation with the modernists, she finds herself lonely in a space, whose understanding needs, deep thinking, and knowledge. Sometimes applying some taboos in these kinds of poems resulted from the reciprocal ambiguities in deep spirit of these poets, which has roots in social issues. In the present study, it has been attempted to study modern and postmodern poems analytically, from the viewpoint of analyzing women’s identity and position, referring to the epistemology and social structures of contemporary women’s identity through explanation and specification of the concepts and the hidden objections and remonstrance in these poems.
Keywords: woman, postmodernism, contemporary poem, sociological, epistemological, modernity.
Change and transformation in the contemporary Persian poetry have started since Constitutionalism. It is at that time that politics, society, and its different institutions are manifestly projected in the Persian literature and “the clash of Eastern and Western civilizations, awareness of industrial, military and intellectual advancements in Europe, and observation of backwardness of the East brings a special type of throb and anxiety in the spirit of the underprivileged class or the elites of the time which are all reflected in the intellectual work of this period” (Shafee Kadkani, 2011: 36, 37). Following these interactions and desires, the idea of industrialization and development of Iranian society, the conditions were prepared for some poets to travel to Europe and study there until Nima maximized breaking the norms in the structure of Persian classical poetry which had started before him, and after him, other Nimaee poets such as Sohrab Sepehri, Forough Farokhzad, etc. started breaking the norms and different rebellions in the realm of structure and semantics, and sometimes their poems become a full-scale mirror reflecting the conditions of their society. Out of the different types of the contemporary Persian poetry, modern and postmodern sonnets are considered as the most newly achieved types. One of the main subject matters in the modern and postmodern sonnets is women’s identity which reflects their ideas, actions, rebellions, and projects their different reactions against these realities and breakage of the social norms, shows their interaction with the modern and postmodern world, and pictures their opposition to the remaining common traditions and clichés from the past which also existed in the families. According to the socialist researchers and thinkers, some of these issues are the result of the early or untimely introduction of this group to the modern and postmodern world, or according to psychologists, it was because of their cultural and cognitive gap which is more considerable from this aspect. Therefore, this survey tries to answer this question that: by analyzing these poems, which epistemological and sociological attitudes and features of women can be explained and elaborated?
1.2. Research methodology
The applied method in this article is narrative analysis. The use of narrative in the survey of human experiences has a long tradition, especially in literature and historical research. Narrative analysis is an exploration in the cognitive, social-interactive and symbolic environments. Unlike most of the attitudes in the social-cultural studies, the narrative analysis does not turn away from uncertainties, complexities, conflicts, and dualities. This is because narratives are the background of these cases; they reflect strength and weakness of emotions, ideas and human experiences. They reveal damages and advantages, they help create identities and social realities, they even make transformations, and because of this, they seem to be appropriate for this survey. Since definition of the problem about narrative is done both theoretically as well as methodologically, theoretical link of this study’s problem with narratives, too, is the link with identical narratives of poets and also like the stylistic link with narrative problem such as study of poems and analysis of contents and subject matters in modern and postmodern sonnets of Iranian poets.
In the postmodern studies, unlike the past modern identities, every kind of mingling, union, and solidarity in the realm of identity is subject to doubt; and identities are not the only multiplex but their production, too, is basically conducted through language and the system of symbols. Identity is in fact product of the narrative that we make about ourselves or is made about us (Ghasemi, 2003: 16).
Chantal Moaffe, one of the most important thinkers who has studied identity in the postmodern environment, believes that the modern mind has to accept its limitations and that the case of human beings must be considered not a fixed, single, concrete, and factual issue, but a flowing, changing and forming subject that is the product of power relationships and interactions with others. According to him, the dialectic of stability and instability becomes possible because there is no pre-defined stability, but identity-finding of human beings is turbulent (Hajiani, 2008: 56), the turbulence that society, culture, and many cognitive factors have formed in human beings:
Take the glory of my slavery to rain
Since I am stranger and more stranger is rain
From the sky, too, nothing reached us but calamity
The rain strikes its axe on the fevered tree
God remained stable again from now on
I, silence and God all three multiplied by rain
(Naini, 2008: 29)
From the modernist perspective, women’s identity depends on their gender and social class; a gender and class which is behind men’s class and gender and is inferior to them. However, from the postmodernist perspective, women’s identity does not consist of race, gender, class, family, and religion, but their experience gives them an identity. From the postmodernist view, identity is the product of dialogue and lingual interaction of human beings in the society. Women, too, need this interaction to create their own identities.
Postmodern poetry which has its own poets and followers in the realm of contemporary poetics seems to be an early achievement from the experiences of the world postmodern literature. It displays biological and objective experiences from the world in which abstract and mental concepts are always challenged and it disturbs many of the supernatural manifestations existing in the classical texts; in the meantime, it represents deep features from the historical conditions of the society in the form of artistic frameworks. The woman poet in this poetry, by making use of anomalies and postmodernist defamiliarization, objects to her social elimination in the male-oriented cultural atmosphere and power relationships. She attacks her previous and old identity in the postmodern style on the basis of modernist epistemological and physiological principles. Also, current interpretations of women’s existence are other subjects stated in these poems which, on the one hand, represent them as human beings having potential forces, and on the other hand, introduce them to individuals that historical time and social place decide stability and silence for them.
Some of the highly frequent and repeated motifs in the modern and postmodern poetry about identity are having absurd feelings, wandering and loneliness in the swarm of cars and people. This is a repeated feeling not only mentioned in the poems of postmodern woman poets, but it appears many times in the poems of men poets as well. Some poems, too, are the domain of dialogues about gender contradictions, domination of traditional perspective and the force of masculine history. Generally and briefly it can be said that in these poems, we face a vague and multifaceted identity where the reflection of this multilateral and turbulent identity is remarkably observable not only in the poems of female modern and postmodern poets but also in the poems of male poets as well. They display the gap and challenge between traditional principles and the achievements of modernity as well as philosophical subjects of postmodernity.