Description: I have altered this again...with many thanks to Phil Askew who helped me to tweak this in to a better poem .
The ghazal is a poem usually of seven ( sometimes more) couplets in the same metre. It always opens with a rhyming couplet called matla. The repeated rhyming refrain of the opening couplet is repeated at the end of second line in each succeeding verse, so that the rhyming pattern may be represented as AA, BA, CA, DA,
Each couplet is a self-sufficient unit, generally containing the complete expression of an idea.
The last couplet of the ghazal may include the pen-name of the poet or a personal reference to the poet
Death walks ( a ghazal ) -------------------------------------------
In silent shadows, where chill night winds moan
and midnight moon retreats he walks alone
In twilight's gloom where sunlight is unknown
and night with day competes, he walks alone.
Where on the shore forgotten flotsam lies
as time and tide retreats he walks alone
Where discarded pavement jetsam greets him
as beggar girl entreats he walks alone
In feelings hidden deep in sleeping souls.
In every heart that beats, he walks alone.
In consciousness, in dreams, in your home town
through dark and dismal streets he walks alone
Where countless undone blessings stain the earth
and unkind deeds defeat, he walks alone.
It has evolved. Each time a reread it you have altered or augmented it. It now has a very clear message. A bit of social criticism. The flavor of solitude heavy in th verses. Undertones of winter every where. The sea imagery prevalent in the original piece is now more water down. It feels more urban than originaly. The Jetsam verses are not clear to me in their variant forms but I like you pen name sneak. Earth is it? You've of course created soft enjambements if such a thing exist and moved gently away from the indivudal couplet gem thing. However, they retain an individuality beside the obviuos connection between them.
I have thought of the ghazal as a neat excersie in learning brevity and skillful use of imagery. It also teaches you to write about something from different angles. I like you apporach here. We will call it a modern ghazal.
A classic theme, death stalking the human animal, but you have given it new form and fresh ideas. You have placed it everywhere we go, on this modern planet. It follows us to sleep, when we wake. on "shore," on "streets , into our "hometowns", into our very "thoughts". You have updated the theme to the present, wrapped it in new style, and still maintain its classic appeal. I'm not familiar with the Ghazal, but it seems to serve this pupose very well. The repetition of "he walks alone", besides personifying death, gives it that persistent, "Is he behind me, now?", sense of doggedness. Well done.
it's early and my coffee hasn't kicked in yet, so this comment is gonna be pretty boring, sorry :p i am impressed though. i don't know that i've seen this form before, but i really enjoyed it. it's simple but potent. and your words and images are captivating. very well done :)
I really like this and the feeling of the poem. It has a very soft touch.
The images are dark but the verse is light.
Would it be OK if I printed it out and read it at an event? Naturally giving you credit.
We are getting some poets together on Sunday to share poems and then discuss the issues of homelessness in LA.
I think this would fit well in that setting.
I do have one thought for what it may or may not be worth.
I am a bit uncomfortable with the ending on line one. I am not sure why. It works on all the other lines but the repetition of walks alone on both lines here doesn't have much zing to me. Just a thought, but would it work as talks alone in line one? It keeps your meter and pattern but shifts the meaning just slightly. No need to change it, just a different look at it.
Well, this is the first of its types that I have read. I liked it. That tends to be me in your poem, well not walking alone, just doing and observing. I don't the spot light. This appears to be about a man whose true self is kept hidden from the world, probably even to himself. He does not share his life with anyone and it sounds by choice. Or I am completely off my rocker. Please let me know. No matter what I liked it.