Elif Elif {Elif Diye} – Inspired by a poem of Karacaoglan

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Elif Elif {Elif Elif Diye} - Inspired by a Poem of Karacaoglan

Listen to the song

This song by Gurdal Ertek is inspired by a poem of Karacaoglan, one of the most important classical poets in the Turkish culture. The poem has a repeated mention of Elif, the girl beloved by Karacaoglan.

Here is an arrangement of the song with acoustic guitar, arranged and performed by Roberto Diana:

Elif Elif {Elif Diye}  – Music inspired by a Karacaoglan poem

Now let us tell the story behind the poem:

Elif (which corresponds to alpha in Greek, a in Latin) is originally the first letter in the Arabic language, and is also the first letter in the word Allah (the word for God in Islam). In the Turkish culture, as well as many other cultures affected with Islam, the letter Elif is considered as a symbol of the beginning of everything, and as a symbol of eternity.

Elif is also a classical girl name in Turkish culture.

The poem consists of impressionist descriptions of different images, all containing the shape of Elif, followed by repeated verses mentioning Elif. In the first section, a thin snow falling is mentioned. The blowing wind creates the shape of (a tilted) Elif character. So the poet, in his observation of a very different context, observes the letter Elif, and remembers the girl Elif. Or maybe it is the other way around, where he matches what he observes to the Elif character, and hence fully remembers his beloved Elif.

One interesting point about this poem is that Elif is described as a literate girl, who can write, of course starting with the letter Elif.

And for those of you who are playing music, here is the chord progression for this song:

G D D7 Em
A C Em. D C X2

F#m F#m G F#m
Bm F#m Em D Em D

G D D7 Em
A C Em. D C X2

F#m F#m G F#m
Bm F#m Em D Em D G