Poet: Zeina Hashem Beck and Her Ghazal

Revision to this post with updated links, Mar. 11, ’22

Writing in form after a very long time was an invigorating challenge, especially a form I’d heard of and hadn’t yet written myself: a ghazal. I’d completed writing my very first one titled, ”This Ring.” I wanted to read others in this form.

The subjects of this ghazal poem I’d found today, written by Zeina Hashem Beck, which I’m about to share, also reminded me of a poem I wrote very recently that was not in form but free verse, but also reminded me of a ghazal!

I noticed how the poet, Zeina Hashem Beck worked with the rules, including rhyme scheme…Reading hers inspired me to write another myself sometime, as her ghazal contains a skilled rhyme scheme, featuring rhymes and slant rhymes within the two lines of each couplet.

Her poem reminded me of walking into a great unknown place that belongs to someone else and coming across unusual, mysterious artifacts; enjoying the look around, even with a feeling of pain or melancholy, and in this poem I 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, my two poems:

This Ring and Other Poem by Jade Nicole Beals (Published in Indelible Magazine; my ghazal, ”This Ring” follows first poem.)

Within the Longest Hour of the Night


Previously: H

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