0008 A Ghazal About Ghazals - Poem by Michael Shepherd
A poet friend spoke of a poetic form called a ghazal
and said, why don’t you try to write a poem like a ghazal?
They’ve been revived in recent years in English, in fact
there’s even a periodical devoted to the ghazal…
and you’re rather keen on that mystical poetry stuff?
and love and such? Why don’t you try the ghazal?
My usual reaction to suggestions like that is, no..
but I googled Wikipedia out of curiosity, on ghazal
which told me everything about it except
why anyone should choose to write a ghazal..
which as you see, is such a restrictive poetic form..
And then I found a passing mention about the word ghazal
it said that the name came from the cry of the gazelle…
and that, told me more than anything about the ghazal…
since a gazelle, like any animal, bereft of the power of speech
and thus of poetry, is the very essence of the ghazal
in that, whether from pain, from danger, from love
- or visited by God - cries the same cry of the gazelle – the ghazal;
as poets, seeking to express the inexpressible, are as limited
in their success, as crying animals, in their way – the ghazal
may thus be seen as every poem that ever poet wrote;
crying within itself, one cry alone...So the ghazal
must choose the human word for its repeated call
with care... ah! yearning heart! ... for One or All! ... Ghazal!
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