Ghazal Pronounced “ghuzzle” (Anderson) or “guzzle” (edsitement) It is an Arabic word that means “talking to women”. (Anderson)
History (Anderson) • Developed in Persia in 10th century. • Currently practiced in Iran, Pakistan, and India • Set to music and very popular in some countries • Some American poets have written ghazals, often without the strict pattern of the traditional form.
Style (Anderson) • A ghazal is defined by a feeling of longing. • Each couplet should be a poem in itself, like a pearl in a necklace • There is no narrative connection between the couplets. Each couplet is a separate idea. • The refrain is a link between couplets. • Uses careful insights, irony, and word play (edsitement)
Form (Anderson) • 5 – 15 couplets • Each couplet is about the same length • Refrain appears at the end of both lines of first couplet • Refrain appears at the end of the second line of subsequent couplets • One or more words before the refrain are rhymes or partial rhymes • Final couplet may have the poet’s first name as a signature
Colours to show “Completion Ghazal”’s form • Each couplet works by itself as a separate piece, but they are linked by the idea of wanting completion. • The refrain – repeated end phrase • The rhyme – comes before the refrain • The signature is the poet’s name.
Completion Ghazal He watched her as I watch blond, ruffled hair, longing for completion In the close dance confines of do I dare, hoping for completion. Copy the move, sip the drink, test the limits of the night As all around gigolos perfect their staresintent on completion. How to move beyond the perfunctory passions and How to engage beyond seduction’s lair while questing for completion. Comfortable predictions rebound, refract as solitary Confinement ties up adventure’s desultory glares of couple completion. Bliss and bounty seem blandly sepia-toned even though Idling adventurous dreams offer no compare to uncoupled completion. Oh, to dance the stage of stardom with hips shimmying To driving tabla’s beat, Safira’srhythm a darelonging for completion.
Open Ghazalby Len Anderson Kiss the hand and cheek, kiss the lips that open. Kiss the eyes and tears, kiss the wounds that open. The nuclei of our atoms are so small, we are mostly nothing. Whoever did this made our stone walls out of windows always open. In a thicket: A bag too dark to see, too big to lift, too familiar to walk away from. God grant me strength to drag it into the open. 6:10, stuck on the freeway again. Love is singing with window and throat wide open.
My friend refused to greet the stranger in black, was brought to the surgeon, who cut his heart open. Go ahead, I dare you, take another breath. Each one is full of what 14 billion years ago blew this world open. We safecracker poets sand fingertips, pass long nights on our knees. All to feel those clicks that mean the door will spring open. Len says, I love the night sky, but I adore the Milky Way: It is the edge of Her robe. See how gently it opens. What is this ghazal missing?
Sources • Anderson, Len. “Open Ghazal” http://www.baymoon.com/~ariadne/form/ghazal.htm • http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=388 • Meldrum, Tania. “Completion Ghazal”