NaPoWriMo 2016: day seventeen


Day seventeen!

Let's dive into a new type of form today, shall we?

The ghazal is an Arabic form of five or more couplets (two lines in each stanza) that each end on the same word.

The first couplet uses the word at the end of both lines, the rest of the stanzas only use the word at the end of the second line.

The couplets can link or they can be totally separate, with only the word that they share in common linking them.

It is also traditional (but not necessary) for the poet to include their own name in one of the final stanzas.

Here's an example ghazal that I wrote last year (meta-poetic means it's a poem which talks about itself, which is a post-modern theoretical idea I am way too fond of):

A Semi-Metapoetic Ghazal

It's Monday morning and I'm writing poetry.
Always and forever, always and forever, writing poetry.

Can't find the vaccination records we need. School
nurse is getting impatient but there's always poetry.

My husband goes to the gym three days a week.
I can't be bothered, gotta dance it out in poetry.

Words of blue: rain, sky. Words falling down everywhere
among us. Words that can only be described as poetry.

Where is the killer instinct when you need it?
Where are the hordes lining up to buy my poetry?

In this moment, I'm singing along to the Bare Naked
Ladies, who are neither naked nor ladies: poetry.

Monday morning; wish I had iced this coffee.
Monday morning: coffee rhymes with poetry.

Who knows how to hold the summer in a bottle?
Who can give me this sun all year round? Poetry.

Love is an effervescent state. I've been in love for almost
half my life now: it's all poetry (except when it isn't).

The most wonderful thing about the ghazal is
randomness. Chaos and beauty. Oh, this poetry!

Hallelujah, praise the One, over and over. Words
bring me back to the point of it all, poetry.

The only worries in a ghazal is: do I delete this? And
where in the order should this couplet go? Ah, poetry.

Today let me go forth and be productive. Today
let Lexie mix wonderment and work with poetry.

Some other examples:

Ghazal by Agha Shahid Ali (he's written many of them, he's considered a modern master of the form).
Hip-Hop Ghazal by Patricia Smith
Red Ghazal by Aimee Nezhukatathill (note how she changes the word in some of her stanzas).

Ghazals are totally fun to write, so I hope you have a great time writing yours today!

And if you don't feel like writing in this form, your alternative prompt is to write a poem where you reference yourself in the third person. Because that's how Lexie rolls.

Happy poeming!