Âşık Çelebi

Bilgin, Şair

Poet and scholar (b. 1520, Prizren - d. 1571, Skopje). He received education in İstanbul. He took lessons from the famous scientists during the time of Sultan Solomon the Magnificent, such as Taşköprülüzade Ebussuud Efendi and Fenerizade Muhittin Efendi. He was interested in poetry in his youth. He was the friend of the famous poets of İstanbul, such as Zatî, Taşlıcalı Yahya and Hayalî. He worked as a trustee of the Emir Sultan Foundation in Bursa and as the Secretary of Juridical Verdicts to Ebussuud Efendi in İstanbul. He also worked as a judge in Silivri and in Skopje.

He collected his poems in his Divan*. He depicted the beautiful girls of Bursa in Şehrengiz (City Book) and translated many important works of his time from Arabic into Turkish. His most famous work was his tezkire* with the title Meşâiru’ş-Şuarâ (Senses of Poets, 1546). He presented his work to Sultan Selim II, in which he introduced the poets of the 16th century with examples arranged in alphabetical order. In the prologue of his tezkire*, he explains his ideas on poetry and emphasizes God’s feature of “Speaking”. He highlights the differences between verse and prose. He quotes the ideas of the scholars of Islam on rhyme and criticizes Aristotle’s thoughts on rhyme. Stressing the importance of Şuara Suresi (The Sura of Poets) in the Holy Koran, he explains his own ideas based on the translations of the interpreters Zamahşeri and Beyzavi. In contrary to the other writers of tezkires*, he comments on the relationship between poetry and music. A hand-written copy of his tezkire* is at the Fatih National Library.


Divan (Divan*), Şehrengiz-i Bursa (City Guide of Bursa), Zigetvarnâme (The Book of Zigetvar, work in verse on the campaign to Zigetvar by Kanuni Sultan Süleyman), Mecmua-i Sukûk (Verdicts at Courts), Zeyl-i Şakayık (Tail of a Peony), Meşâ’irü’ş-Şuarâ (Senses of Poets, tezkire*, 1568; edition in London, 1974).

In addition, he translated some works from Persian and simplified some works from Ottoman.


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