Abstract


A Portrait of the Farmer-Peasant from the Perspective of Divan Poets
Farming is likely to be considered one of the oldest activities in the world. Because of their physiological needs, people felt the need for nutrition in order to survive. Due to this requirement, human beings have turned to agricultural activities besides hunting. In the later periods, the farming profession emerged with the agricultural activities carried out in a certain order. The Ottomans used the word “rayah” to refer to farmers-peasants engaged in agriculture. However, this phrase is not an absolute denotation that is fully associated with them. The word "rayah" was a public denotation used regardless of religion or ethnicity to refer to those outside of military communities. For the state, this segment constituted the main social base that needed to be protected and guarded at all times. It is observed that farmers-peasants, who constituted a certain class and held an important place in the Ottoman state, were of interest to divan poets and included in their poems in various manners. Readings towards poems containing the concept of farmer-peasant were made by scanning divans and masnavis. In the present study, the concept of farmer-peasant was discussed under two main sections. In the first section, certain matters regarding farmers were examined in the form of sub-headings. In the second section, the elements likened to farmers were examined within the framework of sample couplets. Therefore, a portrait of the farmer from the perspective of divan poets was created. It was observed that the concept of farmer-peasant was included more commonly in masnavis compared to divans, and that vivacious descriptions were made. The most striking findings obtained during the examination of the concept is that although the poets used complimentary expressions towards from time to time, they "looked down on" this social segment. The present study aims to present the portrait of a social segment from the Ottoman society to attention.

Keywords
Divan Poets, Farmer-Peasant, divan poetry