Seyhan Kurt

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Seyhan Kurt
Seyhan Kurt.jpg
Born (1971-12-16)December 16, 1971
Grenoble City , France
Occupation poet, writer
Nationality FranceTurkey French-Turkish
Genre contemporary poetry
Literary movement

Humanism, Mysticism, Pacifism, Sufism

Symbolism, existentialism, Futurism

Seyhan Kurt is a French-Turkish poet, writer and sociologist.


Born in Grenoble, Isère, France, he started his primary education at La Verpillere, Ecole Les Marronnier (Grenoble) and completed it at Ecole Jean Jaurès in Lyon. He graduated from Dumlupinar High School in Mersin and continued his education in Selçuk University in Konya and studied French Language and Literature and Sociology. He is a member of the International Association of Writers (International PEN).

His poetical works have been published in literary magazines; Varlik, Journal, Turkish Language, Le Poete Travaille, Tohum, Cali and Turk Dili.

Kurt is a mystical, humanist, existentialist and sufist poet. All of his poems are written in Turkish and French and his work has come to form a sense of questioning the place of man and his deeds in his world. His tone of voice is severe but melodic. His third book Hüznün Sözyitimleri (Speechlessness of Sadness) was publishing in 1998. It consists of three parts "Deterritorial, Agnostic and Incognitae". We are given the loneliness, alienation, individualism and rebellion created by modern world. The subject matter gives Kurt's poetry its peculiar quality. As the author casts these subjects into his lines,he uses a sharp and complex style. His stanzas variegate in length and his poetry disturbs and re-forms the routine language. The word combinations strikingly violate the order with outstanding, unexpected images. His free-verse often depends on the cadence or grouping of phrases, and the reading depends on either a slowing down or a speeding up till it reaches an emphasis in the final lines. There is a yearning for a better and meaningful life. He pictures man lost in a universe sometimes conscious of his own position. For Seyhan Kurt, man has made the worst of himself and therefore is helplessly lonely. For his art, we can conclude that "the surface of the world and mankind have lost their privacy." One feels driven into a world which he has no control of.

Fighting without weapons in Kurt's poetry[edit]

For Seyhan Kurt the ideologies of profiteering for war is the most dangerous paradigm in this age. Kurt processed; human freedom, destructiveness of war, fascism, capitalism, racism and sexual discrimination, loneliness and pure love, basically in his works. Has worked to implement the theory of the "superior love" against the Nietzsche's idea of "superior human" in his poems. According to him,love is over religion and do not have nationality, race and have no country. In this regard; he emphasizes the need to oppose the war and every kind of oppression, discrimination. According to Kurt, the 20th century is the most brutal century in human history. But the poet is not hopeless: is trying to explain that, the thing which liberate, people is critical thinking and empathy. He sees art and philosophy as an aim rather than as a tool, just as Socrates, Gandhi, Rumi and other sufists.

Revolt in Seyhan Kurt's Speechlessness of Sadness[edit]

The subject that is treated densely from the beginning to the end of the work is revolt. In order to manage to explain his rebelliousness, the poet appeals to complex images. He is like wanting to "slap" the readers. This is why the expressions are sharp and hard. We come across the manner of Rimbaud in his Une Saison en Enfer, the expression of the union of the subject treated in Les Chants de Maldoror of Lautréamont in Hüznün Sözyitimleri. The situation in which the earth is and the powers of evil have whipped up the soul of the author. Armed men are invaded the world and innocent people are killed by their arms: "Öldürüyorlar (ölüyorlar). Her silah için ayrı bir uzmanlık dalı, her kurşun için milimetrik sayılar yaratılıyor" (p. 23) Death, for the poet, is going to reach everyone. But what is important is how this will occur. Seyhan Kurt complains that thousands of people are making efforts for arms. He thinks that mankind is unaware of what kind of a disaster they are able to cause. Besides this, the poet is restless of the comfort he has while expressing this: "Korkunçluk burada değil; bunu yazabilmemdeki rahatlıkta" (p. 23) He is trying, too to express the dangers for the future of children. The arms from now on are reaching children, too. There is no importance of this for capital owners. When we look at page 34, we have children facing arms more dangerous than G3 or M16. These arms are what technology brings and they symbolize the degeneration of cultures.

A critique of technofascism in Seyhan Kurt's Speechlessness of Sadness[edit]

When we look at the base of the work, we see that it is full of images of longing to return to nature. For Seyhan Kurt, mankind should return to his own essential in his world full of cables and computers The poet starts his criticism on hypertechnology in a bitter tone page 25. He thinks that world languages are in such a situation that they became unable to explain this chaotic development. He emphasizes that people who worship on technology will not be able to see the natural beauties of the world. He gives the native Africans and the Woodoos as examples. He indicates that such authentic components will only take place in colored glossy printed books. Technology spreads so rapidly that there will remain nothing to enter the imaginary world. In this artificiality, man is not going to turn his face to man but to machines. Instead of forming things for the sake of mankind, men are using up themselves, even the earth. The poet attracts our attention first to television as an agent to cause all of these negative forces. He brings a criticism on television on page 35. The future is under the danger of technology. There is no use of the great media establishments or ideal personalities for the adventure of man towards his essential. The poet thinks that future of mankind is in danger by possibilities that media offers. But what really upsets us is that people are not sensible enough about it. In page 56, he explains that individual loneliness is nothing in the eyes of political sayings, advertisements, and capital owners that “play their noses”. Nobody takes care of the other one’s existential loneliness. People who can not take up with these technological powers are sentenced to be erased from the earth’s surface. The poet states in pages 74,75, and 76 what a situation the nature has fallen into by use of the trembling legs of the cities. The birds are affected by the poisons spread by factories. Poison prevents bird’s singing in the way that mankind long them to sing. The birds, like men, are down in this dense smoke and disorder. In page 74, the poet mentions the capital owners these negativities with them. He mentions in page 81 to the man who wants to return to his own essential being, who wants to get rid of the chains of technologic fascism. He makes a wish against them. He says man should react against turbidity and power. He emphasizes that man should not remain unable to act. “Bugün işçileri değil, başı dertte insanları, mutsuzları, yani aşıkları birleştiriveririz.” (p. 81) The poet, instead of the speech that is “All Workers of the World, Unite!”, wishes unhappy people, lovers to unite. The fascinating city of a time of the 1968’s Katmandu (Nepal) and the castle of socialists and liberalists that was Paris have now lost their charm. What is meant by this is that man should return to his own essential being more than a city, a geographical place. As a result, technology has inserted mankind in an invisible prison. But in spite of all the evil he mentions and his pessimistic and humanist mode, the poet is not hopeless. He also defends, that man should not be hopeless. For him, “Polyanna died”, but there is always a jewel living in man’s heart. Man who created technologic pressure should find the way to get rid of it.

Bibliography in Turkish[edit]

  • (1993) Kapa Gözlerini "Shut Your Eyes"
  • (1995) Destinos "destiny"
  • (1999) Hüznün Sözyitimleri "Speechlessness of Sadness"
  • (2002) On Jean Baudrillard (unpublished thesis)
  • (2002) El Ilani "Hand-Out"
  • (2004) Bizden Geçen Sular "Waters Running Through Us"
  • (2012) Seyyah "The Voyager"


References in English[edit]

  • Alienation of The Individual Due To His Conflict With Modernity: Seyhan Kurt's "Speechlessness"

Faculty of Sciences and Humanities, English Language and Literature - Konya, 2002, by Emre Dagli, Ass. Prof. Dr. Gülbün Onur.

References in Turkish[edit]

  • Interview with Seyhan Kurt on The Ethic of The Modern World, Dr. Ahmet Gogercin, Kurgu Review 10, Ankara, 2012.
  • "Seyhan Kurt: Poete Maudit, An Essay on 'Waters Running Through Us'"- Hüseyin PALA, Ayraç Review 15, Istanbul,2011.
  • "Hand-Out", Yasemin Şen, Sabah Journal, November 10, Istanbul, 2005.
  • Turkish Language Journal, September 24, 2007, Feyza Hepcilingirler, Cumhuriyet News, October 11, Istanbul, 2007.
  • "Interview With Seyhan Kurt", Prof. Mehmet Tekin, Ayraç Review 19, İstanbul, 2011.
  • "The Artistic Delirium and The Poetics of Possibility", Polat Alpman, Sosyologos Review 6, Konya, 2004.