Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a ghazal. I am not sure I ever wrote one of these before. Like some other poets I know, I’m not entirely sure how you know when you’ve done it successfully. But here goes anyway!
Why Libraries Are Important on Friday April 13th
It’s my birthday, give me poetry books
I’ll spend my day reading poetry books
Children learn grammar in their grade school books
Mothers writing payments from their cheque books
People playing games in their crossword books
Chefs making meals from big cookery books
Priests reciting psalms from their black prayer books
Kids memorize from catechism books
Gardeners design from their landscape books
Accountants record in their ledger books
Teenagers reveal in diary books
People seek solutions in self-help books
Borrowed wisdom found in library books
Experiments in sound in music books
Everywhere you look you can find more books
Carol’s ghazal says it’s all about books.
Carol A. Stephen
April 13, 2012
This is really well done. I looked up the form and would love to give it ago, perhaps try and get over my form-phobia. :)
Think of form poetry as a sort of word game. Like doing a crossword puzzle. It is a challenge, yes, but it can also improve your vocabulary, if the form calls for a rhyme scheme, or it might help you to focus on the beats in each line. Anything that makes you pay more attention to your poem is going to strengthen your work. You may not choose a form as your preferred style, but the constraints make you stretch.
A good book to read on form is “In Fine Form”, as it takes a rather contemporary approach with the examples, but there are other fine books on form. The ghazal is a rather strange form to try to pin down. Start with simple forms if you want to break the phobia, then work up to the more complex. For example, the triolet is (or can be) a very short poem, with repeating lines, so there are fewer of them to have to create… go ahead, Esther, plunge in! Carol
Aww.. that’s very encouraging, Carol. I’m often quite stubborn when it comes to unsolicited advice, but a kick up the butt is (also) often a good thing. I’m good with challenges so will devise a form writing challenge for May/June (and you’re my first recruit!) . Like you say, start with a haiku, a triolet, a tanka and so on. Good call. :)