I thought it would be fun to try writing a form poem sometime ago, something I hadn’t done in awhile, and I flipped through traditional forms described in a book to find a new one that I’d heard of before, a ghazal.
The poet Rumi wrote ghazals himself, although I’d not noticed the word as much before, and the form was believed to have originated in the early medieval era in Persia, just a little earlier than his own lifetime. While his would be translated later into English, these versions you may find wouldn’t show all the traditional parts of the ghazal that would be in the originally written Persian (or by authors in Arabic.)
I looked up the rules/guidelines and wrote my first ghazal even if much later I saw I’d slightly misunderstood a rhyme scheme rule, yet this rhyme scheme rule is not kept strictly in every ghazal poem that authors write, so that there are personal variations in the traditional form.
I let a fictional event arise poetically and also shaped it with my pen. I’d been saddened by the suffering from the region and I send my poem where it needs to go, without a set address or prior knowledge of particulars:
Which shape ring do you think you would choose?
Would you hear my call for you, my cue and choose?
Would you pause a moment to listen and ask me,
If I know it is you whom I choose?
I know the shapes and colors and hues you might name would be many.
And yet do I know the coolest blue of you whom I choose?
It feels safe for me to fall back within your shade.
I’ll fall asleep and rest within it, this cool blue you could not choose.
I’ll awaken and warm the silence that enwraps the blue within you.
I'll fill your sadness with my poems and patient silences, for you whom I choose.
I might wish to find you the perfect scarf to go along with that ring.
It could be long, fitted, or flowing—a shade of blue I do choose.
Your lips are the color of the quietest roses which are the most beautiful.
They’re brightly-painted sometimes, too and every hue of which I’d choose.
That brightness will not flash in and flash out and stun the eyes.
You are the rose who remains—I might place a rose hue upon your face, too, if you choose.
The green leaves that sprung up and burned away collected at our feet; I've loved them.
Dying or just born, I gather them: poems, paintings, roses—anything you choose.
I may not paint myself within a great portrait of my own.
I find myself so often unspoken, my love not repeated—but in everything I do, I choose.
I may lift my cup and drink my water and know nothing of the silkiness that's within the cup.
You may suddenly lift me up and kiss me and I'll save everything we do, I choose.
The water I drink is fresh and cool and I'll pour another glass for you.
You may surprise me with a warmer hue of blue and blush to follow, if it is you who I choose.
I may laugh for you, but I like your laugh even more.
Silent and open tonight is my door, if you do so choose…
Within your name, I hear the ring of my own.
Come inside, you know it is you whom I choose!
—-Jade Nicole Beals
Thank you for reading. 🙏💗
I was pleasantly surprised when I’d learned a rule was that poets would refer to themselves or include their own name in the ending, and I didn’t realize I was doing that in my own way in my ending; I’d already planned not to keep that strictly.
Some days later after I wrote that poem, I read for the first time May Ziadeh’s short story ‘Beloved (Memories of Lebanon).’ I finished this poem before I’d read it, and was surprised; I felt my poem would accompany so well her story! 🙏🖊💗:
Previously: Introducing My Mom, Joanie Rose