My Heart in Motion

Yesterday I posted the poem I worked on during the day, written because I was inspired thinking about an artist whose work I went to see in the afternoon. I had this grand idea that I would write that poem and write my annual it’s-my-niece’s-birthday poem and publish both, making up for my unsuccessful poem-less start to the month. Then I remembered how awful my schedule was today, and knew I’d likely not have time or brain space to sit and think about ghazals. So I held onto the birthday poem until today, yes, a day late, but also the day when I actually got to see my niece (over zoom, alas), so still fitting.

No, it’s not getting easier, but something is starting to change. That change sharted with those hyacinths that tickled my nose on my way home Friday, making that day’s poem my most successful so far this month. I am far (FAR) from cracking the ghazal code, but something changed.

Did I just calm down a little? Maybe told myself that I didn’t need to break my heart over these poems every day, told myself that I could find a refrain that resonated and somehow build a poem around it. I don’t know the exactness of what changed, but Friday felt very different. Yesterday, too. My niece poem feels closer to successful than not.

The secret door to this form is still eluding me, but trying to write no longer feels like a punishment. That’s definitely a move in the right direction. I’ll take more of that, please.

Djinn

You shine, iridescent glow within, all your wonder.
Magic simmers beneath your skin, all your wonder.

Twenty-three years, learning and refining, each year new,
each year adding to who you’ve been, all your wonder.

Your confidence and strength have always wowed me.
Your easy calm, that inner yin, all your wonder.

We are different, yet share the same wavelength
you keep me focused, out of the din. All your wonder.

And I, your Aunt Stacie, watch you grow, change, become --
my best-beloved niece, go, begin all your wonder.

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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