an american ghazal rather than the more traditional ghazal
|My grandmother's grandfather's brass bound trunk
traveled steerage from County Cork to Boston.
Cara painted pictures today: 9 year old impressionism.
She is a rainbow, wearing her efforts with style.
Portraits and daguerreotypes meant long, stiff motionless hours.
I'd wondered why the ancestors never seemed to smile.
Filigreed teaspoons, be-ribboned gown, a pressed and dried corsage,
children's schoolwork, high school letters, a piece of the 'wall.'
My son, his smile showing through layers of mud, shows me his treasure:
an arrowhead pried loose from ancient soil, held in a bloody hand.
Twentieth-century American poets have omitted
the rhyme while retaining the couplet form and the
approximate length. They also emphasize a
disconnectedness between couplets, juxtaposing
apparently unrelated observations, placing insights
or images side by side without explaining their
connection. These gaps can be a great source of
power and mystery.
In writing a ghazal, you have to use impulse and intuition more
than rationality. It helps to make each couplet interesting and
complete in itself. Fragments, glimpses, and exclamations
often need no more than a couplet. And it helps to make a
"jump" after each couplet, from the political to the personal,
from talk to thought, from idea to image, from near to far.------(Creating Poetry, John Drury, Writer's Digest Books,