I’ve loved ABC books and A-Z lists for quite a while. As a teacher I’ve used the A-Z idea for brainstorming new topics, for studying, and for writing. I haven’t posted in this series for a while; this is one in a series on writing, with the subtopic of poetry.
“Stop fantasizing about writing- follow through and get it down on paper. Share what you write with others who you trust and receive their criticism- a special gift – nondefensively.” – Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio, author and speaker
Have you ever thought of criticism as a gift? Well, if you look at it that way it can be more helpful to you. The key is finding someone you not only trust but someone who either knows something about writing or knows something about the topic of your writing.
It’s sometimes hard not to want to defend your work. But, try to step back and realize that the feedback you are getting may well be the feedback from your target audience. And if the feedback happens to be negative, isn’t it better to fix it now, than to find out later you missed your mark?
On to poetry…
A Ghazal is a poem that I had never heard of before this year, so come along with me and explore this form. It is made up of a minimum of five couplets, where each couplet is an independent poem. The Ghazal has a refrain of one to three words that repeat, and an inline rhyme that precedes the refrain. Lines 1 and 2, then every second line, has this refrain and inline rhyme. The rhyming scheme is AA bA cA dA eA etc.
Here is a part of a Ghazal by Erin Thomas :
These Aged Pines
Amid lush fern carpet stand perpending pillars; Into broad canopy rise impending pillars.
Shady gloom in quiet calm hangs perpetual Neath enshrouding shelter of attending pillars.
Ringlets firm encircle hearts of antiquity, Deeply shielded within great suspending pillars.
Here is my first attempt:
A Ghazal of Psalm 20
May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble; May the LORD answer you when you call.
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you; May the God of Jacob answer you when you call.
May He send you help from the sanctuary, May He send you help when you call.
And strengthen you out of Zion; May the King strengthen you when you call.
May He remember all your offerings, May the King remember you when you call.
And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah. May the King accept you when you call.
May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, May the King answer you when you call.
And fulfill all your purpose. May the King fulfill when you call.
We will rejoice in your salvation, May the King rejoice when you call.
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the King answer us when we call.
May the LORD fulfill all your petitions. May the King fulfill when you call.
Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; May the LORD save when we call.
He will answer him from His holy heaven May the King answer him when he calls.
With the saving strength of His right hand. May the King save us when we call.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; May the King answer us when we call.
But we will remember the name of the LORD our God. May the King remember us when we call.
They have bowed down and fallen; May the King answer us when we call.
But we have risen and stand upright. May the King answer us when we call.
Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we call.