Poet: Zeina Hashem Beck and Her Ghazal

Writing in form after a very long time was invigorating and refreshing, and an enjoyable challenge, especially choosing a form I’d heard of and hadn’t written yet myself.

That ghazal I wrote I will read aloud at the online Art reading tomorrow afternoon.

I wanted to read another ghazal written in English and I came across this poem easily by a poet I’d not read yet, and I was interested to be able to see how she worked with the rules, including rhyme scheme; it inspired me to write another myself sometime, as her ghazal contains a skilled rhyme scheme that features rhymes and slant rhymes within the two lines of each couplet.

This one I find very imaginative and liked reading her own take on similar subjects I’d written in my own latest poem, “A Spell May Fail, But A Prayer May Find Its Desire In Being Said At All.”

Her poem reminded me of walking into a great unknown place that belongs to someone else and coming across unusual, mysterious artifacts and enjoying the look around even with pain or melancholy, found too what felt to me a Sylvia Plath allusion.

With Prayer


Herons were no longer safe in the sky. They flew with prayer,
then fell to us. We hid them from the cats. What to do with prayer?

Decades after the civil war, we enter the sniper’s hole, sew
the sandbags, read words for his boyfriend on the wall, true with prayer.

Write my name & invite me to a wedding. I want a parade
of cars with flashers on, each blinking red, two times two with prayer.

Dear Eurydice, what good a heart that can’t resist looking back?
Foolish, music-laden Orpheus. Almost saved you with prayer.

In the museum of memory, the missing accumulate.
They shoot out of the tiles like grass blades, damp & new with prayer.

I found a photo in a library book: lovers holding hands.
I felt chosen, then lost it. & I didn’t pursue with prayer.

When I interviewed God, I said I moved the plants toward the light,
forgot the water. Is love a lack, always imbued with prayer?

Tarot cards, make me beautiful. Abundance me, O Three of Cups,
spin luck O Wheel of Fortune, I’m through, I’m through, I’m through with prayer.

Zeina Hashem Beck – With Prayer


Mentioned in post:

Poem: A Spell May Fail, But A Prayer May Find Its Desire In Being Said At All 

Poem: This Ring


Previously: https://jadenicolebeals.com/2021/09/18/h/

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