Answered and unanswered questions in Nasimi's poetry
Rafael Huseynov

Although the poetry of every great Azerbaijani poet contain questions, we do not
have poets who have more questions than Nasimi. Questions are one of the
permanent features of his poetic style, the obvious aspects of his thinking and selfexpression.
The collection of Nasimi's verses in his native language, published in 1973 by
academician Hamid Arasli, contains 801 verses. Of the 287 gazals in that
publication, 94 are with question containg totally 269 questions. Of the 154 verses
with socio-political content, 51 are with question and the total number of questions in
these verses is 235. Three of the three tarjibands are with questions and the number
of questions is 147. Of the 330 tuyugs, 23 are with questions and totally 35 questions
appear in them. Thus, 183 of the 774 verses are with questions and Nasimi has
totally 686 questions. The question arises: why is this so and why is Nasimi so
enthusiastic about the questions?
The three principles that emerge in the history of philosophy as the "Socratic
method" are to seek truth and knowledge through dialogue between the two parties.
The first rule of this method of the great Socrates (469-399 BC) is to ask questions,
soothe the self-satisfaction of the counterpart introducing himself as knowledgeable,
raise awareness of the fact that along with not realizing anything, he does not know
about his ignorance as well. According to Socrates, the second goal of the question is
to invite the interviewer to self-realization, as well as to direct him to the remaining,
incomprehensible, obscure aspirations within himself. The third Socrates' method is
to awaken the truth in the mind of the other person through questions and answers.
Nasimi's verses and the numerous questions they contain are directly influenced
by the classical mold of Socrates. Nasimi's master Fazlullah Naimi also built one of
his famous works, "Charter," explaining the secrecy of Hurufism in the same style,
based on question and answer from beginning to end. When reading some of
Nasimi's verses full of questions, it seems as if they are the conspects of a lecture or
thesis of a sermon to be made in front of his followers. Because in these verses, there
is no clarification, no explanation somehow, there are solely questions. Immediately
it comes to mind that following the recitation of such verses, the poet began to
convey his philosophical conclusions to his adherents around the aspirations
extracting light from that passage.
Nasimi has a question that seems to be vusually the question, in fact, the answer
is in it, and the purpose of answering this question is not to get an answer from
someone else but to strengthen his position on the matter. Nasimi has such a
question that it is clear from the beginning that there is no answer, and, on the
contrary, there is a question that has many, sometimes numerous answers. Nasimi
has a question that is drected to the questioner and no one can find a more brilliant
answer to it than questioner does himself.
In classical poetry of the Near and Middle East which is composed of five
wings, three traditional poetic figures are presented – narrative, artistic, spiritual,
aruz, rhyme: question-answer, tajahul-i arif and amazement. These are the variations
Рисаля. Елми арашдырмалар jurnalı. №2.2019(17)– ISSN 2522-4808 (print)
of the artistic question that differ slightly from one another. There are three of them
in Nasimi, but our poet has added philosophical tints to the concept of artistic questions,
expanding and enriching the circle so far that no Persian or Turkic poet has
done it prior to him.
There are a lot of answered and unanswered questions about Nasimi's life path,
ideological struggles, the creation history and attribution of his individual works.
The peculiarity of the poet's questions is that every new generation of readers should
seek their own answers, both to the questions with answers and the ones without
answers in accordance with the eternal law of poetry.

Keywords: permanent features, Socratic method, questions and answers, Fazlullah Naimi, Hurufism, Hasanoglu, Nasimi's verses, poetic figures, artistic questions