The Gazelle’s Constraints:
Samuel at d’Verse Poets educates us on a Persion form called the Ghazal. In my poem I have tried to obey the Ghazal’s tradition of writing on love and spirituality. Yet, keeping to my poem’s theme, I flirted a bit outside of the norm while trying to follow its 6 rules:
1. Independent couplets (shers) [I think I did that]
2. Couplets with the same meter (geher) [irregular pentameter – I tried]
3. Couplets end in same refrain (phrase/word) (radif) [“Younger Sister”]
4. Words prior to the refrain must rhyme (kaafiyaa) [“ee” sound]
5. Beginning couplet (matla) must repreat the refrain in both lines. [done]
6. Final couplet (maqta) must reference the poet’s name or alias (takhallus) [here I protest, “me” is fine]
- The prophet of Islam, Mohammed, had several wives — some sent to him as gifts. Maria and Sirin were the daughters of a Christian Coptic sent to the prophet; he kept the older but gave away the younger.
- The prophet of Christianity, Jesus, is suspected by some to have had Mary Magdalene as a lover. Mary’s older sister was Martha — also a disciple and supporter. In John’s gospel, ch 12 Mary annoits Jesus in expensive oils — a rich metaphor. The Latin tradition views Mary of Bethany (the anointer and Mary Magdalene as the same person.