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 couplet�s 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 couplet��after as many couplets as you decide, but at least five in all��include 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, �It�s 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