Albert's Poetry Cafe ~ Poet Craft: Form ~ with Salvatore Buttaci ~ 'Ghazal'  September 1, 2008 - September 15, 2008

Contest Completed


Gold Star Winner - Life Isn\'t IF But HOW
Silver Star - Midnight Mist



POETRY FORM: The Ghazal (pronounced : guzzle)

The ghazal consists of a series of at least five couplets. Each line follows the same measure; for example, a common one today would be iambic pentameter. Remember that an iambic foot refers to an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one. Pentameter tells us there are five feet of these syllabic pairs.

What makes this form challenging is that a word or a phrase must be repeated at the end of each couplets second line. Only the first couplet has an end-rhyme or AA. All the other couplets have no end-rhyme: BA, CA, DA, EA, etc. The A is the repeated word or phrase that ends the second lines of all the couplets. In Arabic, this repeated word or phrase is called the radif.

Also challenging is the fact that the couplets need not necessarily be part of the same subject! One can jump from one subject to another, though I would suggest a hint at least of a connection: a thin string to keep the poem loosely conforming to some notion.

In the last coupletafter as many couplets as you decide, but at least five in allinclude your first and/or last name in the first or second line. This in Arabic is called the makhta.

Here is my ghazal for a guide in writing one of your own.


The wise insist that love has wings that fly 10 (syllables) A
and she who disagrees must live the lie. 10 A

In sleep the demons chase the dreamer down. 10 B
A voice within says, I must live! The lie 10 A

is dreams are real from which the dreamer wakes, 10 C
while in the real world she must live the lie. 10 A

Escape is not an option: face the facts! 10 D
Good sense, a dull flicker, must live. The lie 10 A

that love will conquer wounds the bravest heart. 10 E
When love flies away she must live the lie 10 A

as do the unrequited, unless time 10 F
can teach the woman she must live. The lie 10 A

like an old blanket can be thrown away. 10 G
Jane says, Its not I who must live the lie! 10 A

Thank you and have fun for the next two weeks working on
your "Ghazal's". Happy writing!

Facilitator: Salvatore Buttaci
Moderator: Helena


First, Second and Third Prize




2 Contestants
2 Submission
Created Sep 1, 2008