Yahya Kemal and Nizar Qabbani: Two Poet-Diplomats in Spain and “Andalus” in their Poems

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Abstract

Yahya Kemal and Nizar Qabbani were two poets who served as diplomats in Spain in the past century on behalf of the governments of Turkey and Syria. Yahya Kemal wrote two poems about Spain, “Dance in Andalusia “ and “Coffee Shop in Madrid”. “Dance in Andalusia,” a poem written about the Flamenco dance, has become very famous. In this poem, he described the traditional dance of the Spanish people and emphasized the place of this dance in their lives and the fun-loving lives of the people of Spain. In almost all of the poems which Nizar Qabbani wrote about Spain, on the other hand, a feeling of sadness rather than joy prevails. He gives a deep sigh in his poems as he regards Andalusia as the one-time land of his ancestors. His most important poem with respect to Spain is the poem entitled “Granada”. This poem is considered to be one of the most significant odes in the Arab literature describing Granada, the pearl of Andalusia, Arab influences there, the Alhambra palace and the sadness felt due to the loss of the city by Arabs. This study analyzes the two most important poems written by Yahya Kemal and Nizar Qabbani concerning Spain, namely “Dance in Andalusia” and “Granada”. Whenever it is deemed appropriate, other poems of the two poets regarding Spain will be dwelt upon and what kind of an influence Andalusia left in their emotional world will be revealed.

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