2019 Poetry Form Challenge

#25 Ghazal




The Ghazal is a very interesting poetry form and it exists throughout the whole of the Moslem world having originated as an Ottoman poetry form. As the Moslem religion spread throughout the Ottoman Empire, so also did their poetry.

Mostly the Ghazal is far from religious in its subject matter and indeed the form appears to be blessed with an abundance of erotica. This is probably why the form became very popular in Europe in the 1800's and then later in the US with the "Flower Power" generation.

Unfortunately the essential elements have been lost with these "Modern Ghazals" and now is the time to revive them or at least make it known what those essentials were.

The Ghazal is a series of couplets each one capable of standing alone as a poem. The first couplet is called the matla or the place where the heavenly body rises. This sounds like a pretty good start for a poem.

This couplet also sets the meter of the poems and the rhyming pattern. In the true Ghazal, the last word/s of both lines of the first couplet must be the same and similarly, the last line of the following couplets must also end with the same word/s.

Modern Ghazals seem only to rhyme these last words. Below is an example which follows a more modern pattern.

Bitter Race

Tonight lets have a drinking race
Without your love no clock will race

Fill the tankard with wine that's soured
Competition in jars shall be the race

Pour down the wine drink to forget
Make our feet too leaded to leave the race

Memory lasts longer than liquor poured
Un-lived dreams litter the path I race

Life's bitter brew this cup o'erflowed
With thoughts that makes my heart race

Horus and Bacchus joined me tonight
Overcome by wine and slows the race

Till consciousness by sour wine devoured
Strikes me out of this hard fought race

Ryter Roethicle



Ghazal Challenge



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Terry Clitheroe

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Terry Clitheroe

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Any Comments or Suggestions, please email me

The Poets Garret
Muse Mongers Motel