G is for Ghazal

G

Here’s an interesting and lesser known poetic form. It was certainly new to me.

Ghazal (pronounced “guzzle”)

“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.”

Source: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/learning/glossary-terms

Here’s an excerpt from an English ghazal by Patricia Smith. “Hip-Hop Ghazal” is definitely not from the realm of kid lit, but I think it’s clever, sexy, and entertaining.

“As the jukebox teases, watch my sistas throat the heartbreak,
inhaling bassline, cracking backbone and singing thru hips.
Like something boneless, we glide silent, seeping ‘tween floorboards,
wrapping around the hims, and ooh wee, clinging like glue hips.
Engines grinding, rotating, smokin’, gotta pull back some.
Natural minds are lost at the mere sight of ringing true hips.”
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