عنوان مقاله [English]
In the contemporary era, with the complexities of the age of modernity and urban life, the poets, particularly those who have migrated from the rural areas, have a different view towards cities and urban life. Among them are Nima Yushij and Badr Shakir-us-Sayab, two modernist poets of Iran and Iraq.
The cultural, social, political and environmental similarities of the mentioned poets' countries have caused their poems to have much in common. In the present study, it has been attempted to consider the common points of the poems of the two mentioned poets about cities and modern life, according to the American school of Comparative Literature. The villages of Yush and Jikor in their poems are in contrast with the city. Considering the privileges of the village over the city, both poets criticize the city and express their social and political issues, describing their birthplaces. Also, the village is their utopia in which the rural, liberal poet seeks comfort due to his homesickness and social and political difference of thoughts.
Keywords: Nima Yushij, Badr Shakir-us-Sayab, contemporary poetry, city, village
Nowadays, finding cultural links and commonalities and the intellectual perspectives of Persian and Arab literati can lay a new horizon before researchers of literature and arts; and in the meantime, comparative studies, with their transnational perspective on the literary phenomena and intellectual commonalities of the two nations with different languages, have created appropriate foundations for it. The American school of comparative literature does not regard historical reciprocal effects of two kinds of literature on each other as the criterion of comparison, but according to it, pure human ideas result from a comprehensive human mind which is common among all nations. In this way, it expands the realm of comparative studies (Jamal-ed-Din, 2010: 21). According to Renee Wellek’s (1985) theory- Wellek is one of the theorists of the school of American comparative literature- “some similarities between literary works are because of the common spirit of all human beings. He believes that ideas of human beings are originated from the same source and despite the differences he sees in the form of expression, he feels some sort of relativeness among them…therefore, lots of literary similarities are not the results of mutual effectiveness but are of randomness and frequency” (Bozorgchami, 2008: 148).
1.1.Statement of the problem and research questions
Nima and Badr, escaping from the challenging urban life full of misery, suffering, dishonesty, and crookedness, long to return to a place where they had spent their childhood days full of simplicity and intimacy; and the consistent idea flowing in their poems show that they see peace in Yush and Jikur which are not only their birthplaces anymore where they had passed their happy childhood days, but are utopias where they want to happily introduce to all people of their country. These two villager poets, one from a remote and green countryside in the northern Iran and the other one from a small village among date palms in Iraq, became exhausted after they came to cities and saw hypocrisy, noisy crowd, challenges and complicated problems of living in the cities. Nima longs to return to the forest and the countryside of his hometown, and Sayab, in his poetry, pictures Jikur, palm gardens and River Buaib which stills runs in his mind.
This survey tries to answer this question: 1. Is city in the poetry of the two poets just a physical place? 2. Is the two poets’ abhorrence of the city because of their incompatibility with the new environment of the cities? 3. Are the languages of both poets coded and symbolic?
By focusing on the writings of these two modernist poets on the basis of the American school of comparative literature, this survey studies the two phenomena of cities and villages, and the return of villager poets to their utopias and to their childhoods. For this purpose, after studying city and village as an element of modernism and introducing this school as well as romanticism, it briefly introduces these two poets. Then, it describes village and the countryside as the refuge of the romantic poets and their utopian land; on the contrary, it describes the city, problems of urbanism, and contradiction of city and village in their writings. In addition, considering the fact that symbolic language in Nima’s and Badr Shaker’s poetry has a specific position in expressing social and political issues, the types of the symbol in their poetry and their differences with each other also have been discussed.
About the studies and surveys carried out in this regard, the Ale Buye Langroudi’s article titled ‘From Yush to Jikur’, also study of two poems namely Afsaneh by Nima Yushij and In the Old Market, by Badr Shaker Sayab’ can be mentioned. Langroudi’s article mostly studies similarities of social conditions and lives of the two poets in the transition from tradition to modernism mentioned in the form and structure of odes –turning to free verse- as well as its themes and contents –turning to codes, myths, and romantic concepts. At the end, it concludes that “obscurity of Afsaneh’s character and Sayab’s lost love in these two poems, motif of love, benefitting from common symbols, turning description into dialogue, using dramatic language, and finally, the gradual process of transition from old poetry to new poetry are some common features of these two works” (Ale Bouyeh, 2010: 15). Another article titled ‘Man’s attitudes to cities in the contemporary Persian and Arabic poetry” is by Farhad Rajabi. In this article, “alongside explaining the position of cities and the motivations behind stating them in the modern poems, he discusses city’s approaches, human nature, and values on this basis, and looks for social issues in dealing with it” (Rajabi, 2011: 59). Also, there is another article titled ‘Jikur, the blood of life in the vessels of Sayab’s poetry’ from Vasaal Meimandi which studies the appearance of the poet’s village in his poetry (Meimandi, 2010: 25-47). This survey could be considered an independent study about these two villager poets which studies their perspective at the phenomena of village and city distinctively and precisely with their innovative poems in this regard.
Considering the mentioned materials, the following cases could be mentioned as results of this study.
City, in the contemporary Persian and Arabic poetry, does not create only a physical place in the perspectives of the poets, but, its cultural, social and political dimensions are investigated and criticized.
Non-acceptance of contemporary moralities and opposition to the dominant system, in the poems of the two poets, is sometimes displayed as a reference to romanticism and the naive nature of village life, and sometimes, it appears in the form of symbolic and coded language.
The phenomena of city and urbanism are related to development in the contemporary era and its rejection is some sort of rejecting the dominant values over the contemporary life. The struggle of these two villager poets against the city is not the result of their incompatibility with the new environment, but it is the result of incompatibility with the moralities governing that environment.
These two poets, as a result of incompatibility with the real environment of the city, try to replace it with an imagination by taking refuge in the utopian cities that are, in fact, the villages of their homelands, or they try to return to their childhood days that had passed in villages.
Nima’s symbolic language mostly borrows its materials from the environments of countryside and village, but Badr’s symbolic language is more inclined to mythical characters and historical events.
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