By this time in the month, I’m usually coming to terms with the form I’ve been writing, coming to a place where I can find my way into a poem even if I don’t produce a poem I particularly love. I’m still not there with the ghazal, however. Nearly every day has felt like the first day all over again. My little system is still working, so it takes less time for me to get to the start of the poem. Getting through to the end remains a scratchy struggle, however. Some years, the form and I just don’t click. So it goes.
Forgot again to start the clock leaving life on hold.
Days, months, years pass without perceiving life on hold.
Watching the steady fall of rain past the window.
What's the purpose, what are we achieving? Life on hold.
I've run toward and away from so many choices,
left staring at emptiness all unbelieving. Life on hold.
You've pulled back your hand even as I've reached out mine,
left me over-balanced and weaving, life on hold.
So I, Stacie, always watching from a distance
stories unspool as I stand grieving. Life on hold.
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!