“At least it isn’t a sestina…” That was my thought when I read the NaPoWriMo prompt for day 13. It’s the 2nd hardest (for me) form: the ghazal. Relying in part on repetition to create poetic tension, the ghazal is a lovely form when done well, as the example of Evie Shockley’s “where you are planted” shows. Unfortunately? It’s not a form I’ve mastered.
That’s the problem with sharing process, when you’re a writer: it’s so MESSY! And it places the writer/blogger in such a vulnerable position. N.B.: vulnerable is NOT my favourite look…
Here’s the prompt:
Today’s is an oldie-but-a-goody: the ghazal. The form was originally developed in Arabic and Persian poetry, but has become increasingly used in English, after being popularized by poets including Agha Shahid Ali. A ghazal is formed of couplets, each of which is its own complete statement. Both lined of the first couplet end with the same phrae or end-word, and that end-word is also repeated at the end of each couplet. If you’re really feeling inspired, you can also attempt to incorporate internal rhymes and a reference to your own name in the final couple
Ane here’s what I have:
Ghazal for a Blue Ridge home ~
It is the way mountains smell: conifer & cloud
How mist settles over the horizon’s line of green, conifer & cloud.
Prairies are in my bones, the wide flat blue of open sky
But I am learning this new language, how to speak conifer & cloud.
You can fall in love with a place, even if it is nothing like before
A kind of reincarnation of home, oak & mistletoe to conifer & cloud.
In the distance, the mountain ridge blues to haze, dissolves
Into a softening of trees and coming rain: conifer & cloud.
I wake each morning to this new place, the soft teeth of metal
In this new fragrance – the chilly purity of conifer & cloud.