Baki, Mahmud

Baki, Mahmud


Born 1526, in Istanbul; died there Apr. 7, 1600. One of the four great poets of Turkish literature of the feudal epoch. Born into the family of a muezzin. Studied jurisprudence in a madrasa.

Baki became well known in 1555, when he delivered to Sultan Suleiman Kanuni (1520–66) a qasida extolling the campaign against Iran. In his magnificent qasidas, Baki sang the praises of sultans; he mourned their deaths in elegies and composed lyrical ghazals in which he imitated Hafiz. As a reward for his poetic work, Baki successively received the posts of qadi of Mecca, qadi of Istanbul, and qadiasker of Anatolia. A divan by Baki that has come down to us is not large. His most famous works are the Hyacinth Elegy, a mersiye (elegy) on the death of Suleiman, and the ghazal Fall. Baki did much for the advancement of the technique of verse and also, to some extent, put meter into order. He also enriched the poetic language and brought the genres of so-called poetry of technique to perfection.


Bakî divani. Edited by S. N. Ergun. Istanbul, 1935.


Garbuzova, V. S. Poety srednevekovoi Turtsii. Leningrad, 1963.
Uraz, M. Türk edip ve şairleri, vol. 1. Istanbul, 1939.
Yeşirgil, N. Bakî: Hayati, sanati,şiirleri. Istanbul, 1963.


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