Look Again, Look Deeper

So yesterday was a light in the dark with the ghazal. The poem I wrote yesterday felt … almost … like it did what I wanted it to. It still had its share of awkwardness, but it didn’t feel like a piece of mangled metal I’d been pounding with a sledgehammer. You know, the way all the other ones I’ve written have felt.

But that was yesterday. Today I’m back to sledgehammering. Maybe not entirely, but much more like sledgehammering than writing a poem.

Today I spent some time in a part of my city I generally avoid. It’s a part of the city that has, in recent years, been transformed into something shiny and new … and alien. Or, to be most accurate, it’s been transformed into a place in which I feel like an alien. It feels like a place that was created very specifically not for me or anyone like me. I came up from the subway and felt as if I’d entered the Epcot Center World Showcase of New York City, rather than coming up into the actual city.

Not a comfortable feeling. Maybe that’s part of why my writing didn’t feel comfortable tonight, either. I was thinking about the artist whose work I went to see this afternoon, the work that carried me to that alienating spot, work that drew me all the way in and felt as if it was being spoken from the center of me. My poem doesn’t do what my heart was doing. So it goes.

How You Dig In

Patterns bold and subtle through your pen investigate.
Never flinch or turn but open, investigate.

I've seen the haven you've built -- peace in chaos.
Quiet and green surround as you then investigate.

You are fearless in your push toward seeing, showing,
flinging wide all the doors we've hidden, investigate.

You are quiet and clear, no coy mincing of words.
Bring us all, too. As you, again, investigate.

I, Stacie, hear with new ears. Every word a gift. 
You carry me through (amen!) -- investigate.

National Poetry Month 2022: the Ghazal

As I’ve done for more than ten years (what?!), I’ve chosen a poetic form, and I’m going to try to write a poem in that form every day for the month of April … and I’m saying that boldly, knowing that I’ve already failed. I couldn’t find my way through to a poem on Day One, but I’m determined to continue.

The “Ghazal” is the form I’ve chosen for this year. Here is the structure and a little backstory (thank you Poetry Foundation):

“Originally an Arabic verse form dealing with loss and romantic love, medieval Persian poets embraced the ghazal, eventually making it their own. Consisting of syntactically and grammatically complete couplets, the form also has an intricate rhyme scheme. Each couplet ends on the same word or phrase (the radif), and is preceded by the couplet’s rhyming word (the qafia, which appears twice in the first couplet). The last couplet includes a proper name, often of the poet’s. In the Persian tradition, each couplet was of the same meter and length, and the subject matter included both erotic longing and religious belief or mysticism.”

Should be interesting!

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