Suddenly Awaken in the Heart: The Memory of the Heart in asik Veysel's Poems

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MILLI FOLKLOR, vol.138, no.138, pp.75-84, 2023 (AHCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 138 Issue: 138
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.58242/millifolklor.1090689
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.75-84
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Memory and recollections related to it, factors like remembering and forgetting play a central role in our personal lives. Memory, which has a constitutive role in the establishment of our identities, is also vital for the existence and maintenance of society and culture. In addition to this, it is through the autobiographical memory that our personal experiences can become storable. On the other hand, even though autobiographical memory is important for all people, it is privileged for artists since their past experiences are the basic re-sources for them while creating their works. Thus, problematizing the artists' perceptions of memory in general and of autobiographical memory specifically is requisite to understand their works. Within this framework, a discussion on the perception of memory, its function and quality in afik Veysel's, one of the prominent names in Turkish folk poetry, poems is held. Memory, which is a more visible problem for modern Turkish poets, has an implicit function and meaning in afik Veysel's poems as it is in Turkish folk poetry in general. In this context, it is thought provoking that neither the word "memory" nor its synonyms are men-tioned in afik Veysel's poems. However, the facts that he says "Let friends remember me" in one of his poems and that he frequently mentions his life experiences, especially related to love, in his poems encourages us to question memory in afik Veysel's poetry. In this article, the famous artist's poems are analysed in the centre of the memory concept, and it is concluded that he equips the heart with characteristics specific to memory, and places it as a metaphor for memory in this way. While trying to explain the way afik Veysel attributes the characteristics of memory to the heart, the perception of memory in philosophy and psychology is discussed in the first place. Plato's paradoxical explanation of memory as "the existing representation of a non -existing thing", Aristotle's emphasis on the connection between the time concept and now, and the state-ment as "Only the ones having taken place in the past can be mentioned while talking about memory" are focused on in the article. Furthermore, memory is stated to present currently non-existing things especially through images by referring to Augustine's thoughts. On the other hand, the observation of the fact that psy-chology and neurology have gained ground significantly in terms of research on memory in the quarter centu-ry particularly, and that this has destroyed the traditionalized cliche thoughts is conveyed. It is pointed out that while it is assumed in classical understanding that memory is in our absolute control, the recent studies have revealed that our memory has its own will. At this point, it is reminded that our memory, which forgets things we try not to, brings out the things actually try to forget in and out of season. The researchers' discussions on the fact that every remembering reshapes the memory are dealt with. Secondly, some researchers focusing mainly on the heart in their studies, and their claims that the heart has a memory are covered in relation to their conceptualization of "the dynamic systems memory theory". Built upon the hypothetical basis, it is discussed in the last part that the heart stores memories, information, feelings etc. from the past, just like a memory in afik Veysel's poems, and that the things stored in the heart come to light intentionally or uninten-tionally. It is also found out that afik Veysel uses metaphors of "Remembering is Waking up" and "Remem-bering is Life" by replacing memory with heart. Therefore, it is aimed to put forward that the heart is a meta-phor for memory in his poems. Finally, it should be noted that this study will be an example to analyse other poets mentioning the memory of the heart.