Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ghazal - an amendment

So, after Mike's comment, and doing some of my own research, I have found that Robert Bly, the great poet, was wrong in his descriptions of ghazals. And therefore I was wrong. I apologize. But - this is good news - I think our way is better.
So a correct ghazal is a poetic collection of Shers. A Sher is a two line poem, with an exact meter called Beher . A Ghazal then is a series of two line poems, and each end with the same word or set of words.
But it only required a cursory examination of the couplet Ghazal to see that two lines was one too few. The problem of the repeated words becoming monotonous was already lingering when I considered the 3 line ghazal, but when words and rhythm was carefully constructed it was avoided. But the 2 line ghazal becomes ALL ABOUT those repeated words. They drum a bit too heavily in the head, like over exaggerated rhymes in a ballad.
Therefore; I was wrong, but I still think I was right.
What do you think Mike?

1 comment:

s.t.liaw said...

I got the same feeling when I was reading the original form in couplets, that the repetitions were too close together.

But I went and tried one anyways, so here it is. I think there are enough perspectives, though unified in the overall idea, of the repeated phrase to keep the poem somewhat interesting. But I did feel somewhat cramped and restricted by the couplet requirement.


Our dreams are but thoughts of tedious souls
weighty, wieldy songs of tedious souls;

a tree is a tree and birds travel light
while we live earthbound by tedious souls;

the ghost wings of our burnt cigarettes rise
while on the tree hang our tedious souls;

all this repetition! all this chorus!
drumming along of our tedious souls;

so we wait and shuffle and crank our necks
and watch the movements of tedious souls;

There is freedom in love, but none can love
without the clashing of tedious souls.