Written for: dVerse Poets Pub – Poetry Form: Ghazal (posted by Gay Reiser Cannon)
Traditional Ghazal rules of form are very clear. The opening couplet is called a matla, which sets up the rhyme scheme (qaifa) and refrain (radif) by having it occur in both lines. Then this scheme occurs only in the second line of each succeeding couplet for at least five additional couplets and in practice as many as needed. To end the ghazal, the poet has a signature couplet, the (makhta) in which they mention their name or refer to themselves.
Couplets are usually complete sentences; internal caesuras are fine but not an enjambment.
Contemporary Ghazals explore more subjects, are experimental with the ‘what and where’ of rhymes and refrains and don’t have a formal signature couplet. However, they do keep to single line couplets, pay attention to cadence and are associational.
When my life feels like a spinning top
you know what I need is the ocean.
Roar of waves, ever dependable
as are flowing ripples of the ocean.
Takes little time for me to breathe easily
when I stand on sand and look at the ocean.
I follow footprints of landing seagulls
like hieroglyphics written at the ocean.
A mist of salty sea-scent sprays my face
I am refreshed and calmed by the ocean.