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Şem’-i Kâfur (Camphor Candle) in The Aesthetic World of Classical Ottoman Poetry
The name of camphor tree is camphora in Latin, Kampfer in German, camphre in French and camphor in English. Camphora (camphor) is formed in the oil cells in the leaves, bark and wooden parts of the tree, and crystallizes inside the clefts on the trunk. Later, it is extracted from branches and stems by steam distillation. It is a compound separated from volatile oil through crystallization. An evergreen species, these trees have created thousand years of forests. The tree is native to Japan and South China. However, it is also cultivated in areas with suitable climate conditions. It has a sharp smell and bitter and burning taste accompanied by a cooling effect afterwards. As camphor has a wide range of application areas, it is also used in candle making. Referring to candles made from camphor, classical Ottoman poetry used expressions such as “kâfûrî şem´a”, “kâfûrî şem´”, “şem´a-i kâfûr” and “şem´-i kâfur”, creating a wide imagination. In divans (collections of poems), candles made from camphor is the most frequently used expression in the couplets on camphor. This study discussed imagery of şem´-i kâfur in 2 categories: 1. “Imagery Related to Şem´-i Kâfur” and 2. “Various Aspects”. Little imagery that is not included in this classification was analyzed under the title “Various Imagery on Şem´-i Kâfur”. Thus, the study introduced an object in the aesthetic world of classical Ottoman poets in great detail.

Classical Ottoman Poetry, Şem´-i Kâfur, Similes, Imagery.

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