I Turned My Villanelle into a Ghazal Today

wrote by hand first, revised on laptop, typed paper is the original villanelle in transformation…

I have turned my villanelle poem that was really giving me trouble into a ghazal today! I resisted doing that at first feeling I was maybe betraying the villanelle form and maybe also trying the complex, known-to-be-challenging ghazal form again too soon, but this one was just…a pleasure to write! You can’t read it yet, but I will probably let it cool and submit it online to magazines next week.

You might like to know that ghazal poems contain a refrain too, but it is a single word refrain, whereas the villanelle has 2 refrains, usually 1 line each and also appearing together.

My 2nd ghazal is a little bit shorter of a poem than my first or many traditional ones; my ghazal is probably staying at 8 stanzas, the general guideline is at least 5. In traditional ghazals, each stanza is made up of a 2 line (couplet) with the refrain word repeating as the last word of the second line of every stanza. This time, I intentionally kept the rule or guideline of the poet referring to their own self or name in the final couplet, since I’d known of that rule now, as I’d researched the form more fully since I wrote my first one—and I had actually accidentally kept that rule in my first ghazal, “This Ring!”

In this ghazal, I added internal rhyme and slight or slant rhyme within each two-line stanza, which I hadn’t known as a feature of ghazals last time until I’d read another one written in our time in English by author Zeina Hashem Beck. Now may my ghazal cool and rest from my great excitement, and I’ll view it again next week with a refreshed mind.


Earlier: The Tea’s Ready

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