B&P’s Shadorma and Beyond – Ghazal – April 4, 2015

Hello Everyone, and before I begin, I thought I’d explain first of all our title change.

As you know, some months ago Jen from ‘Blog it or Lose it!’ joined me to flesh out the Saturday prompt, which up until that time was dedicated exclusively to the ‘shadorma’, so now we do a double prompt as it were, the introduction of a new poetry form each week which we invite you to try and of course the ‘shadorma’ our original raison d’être!  At that time I, Bastet (my pen name) and Jen teamed up.

All haiku poets at one time or another adopt a pen name … and our Jen has finally decided upon hers, Paloma (Dove), so she’s decided to use her pen name in our little effort at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie.

Now back to work … and a little work it will be if you choose to try this week’s form.  It’s one of my favourite forms.  Born in dawn of antiquity, the Ghazal غزل comes from ancient Arabic from before the rise of Islam. With the expansion of Islam it reached Persia (or Iran) and South Asia.  It became a favoured form of two great Persian Sufi, Hafiz and Rumi … which is how I came across the form. Since then it has come a long way.  If you want more information about the history of Ghazal please click HERE. For a vast selection of examples please click HERE.

How does one write a Ghazal:

1. Every verse is a 2-line couplet, (unless you’re Robert Bly) with around 4 to 15 couplets in total.
2. Each line must contain the same number of syllables (in Arabic, they must be the same length we use syllables).
3. Every verse ends in the same word(s) preceded by a rhyme.
The same repeating word(s) is/are called a radif, and the rhyme is called a qaafiya.
4. In the first couplet, both lines end with a qaafiya (rhyme) and radif (repeating word(s)).
5. Each verse is considered a separate mini-poem, so there is no need for any connection between couplets.
6. The last verse is traditionally a signature couplet in which you include your first or last name (or pen name).

Traditionally the preferred subject of a Ghazal is love …. though in our modern age it’s used for just about any subject.

 Here’s an example of a Ghazal that I wrote a while back for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie:

Mind of a Mage

In the off-wings behind her veiled blind of a mage –
She’s not young, her gray hairs remind me of a mage …

Languid eyes, rosy cheeks and a solemn stare –
She hides behind the twisted mind of a mage …

More like a wizard than a witch … devious is she
Weaving words complacently – with her mind of a mage …

Always right, or so she thinks, she drives me mad!
Proud and austere – devious mind of a mage …

Ah women – bedeviled creatures one and all,
Beware friend, of their serpent mind of a mage …

I her man, am trapped in her spider’s web …
She’s bewitching – with her mind of a mage.

(c) G.s.k. ’14

Here is our prompt:


So your choice this week is between  a shadorma (a non-rhyming six-line poem in 3/5/3/3/7/5) or a Ghazal.  The choice is yours! When you have written your poem(s), please TAG them B&P’s Shadorma and Beyond and MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie. Then add your link to the Mister Linky widget below.


Have fun and Happy Easter!  Bastet



  1. Oh, you write ghazals so beautifully — so envious here!

    This is a great post — so well explained, and with a piece of music that gives me goosebumps all over. You know the ghazal is my nemesis — but for *you*, dear Bastet, I’ll give it my all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never understood why you found the ghazal so difficult … must be the viking in you … no problems with the weird epic viking stuff … which I can’t even remember how to spell! Just got the WiFi connection … so here I ame in Vencie and it looks like rain … everyone is up and raring to go ….we’ll be going to visit the islands today. Hope all is wel! lHave a nice morning dear!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m about 3/4 of the way through a ghazal — aren’t you proud?!?

        Yeah, no idea what the problem is … just have this odd block when it comes to ghazals. But fornyrdislag? Bring ’em on! Gimme kennings and trochees and heavy-handed alliteration and I’m good to go! 😉

        Enjoy your visit today — and think of me as we drive to Pittsburgh.


        [shaking my head]


      • At this point I also have to say I don’t know why I have so much problems with alliterations, tronchees and kennings … and my block is such, that I have difficulties evn remembering fornyrdislag. Here we’ve got sun shine but the wind is nearly at hurricane levels! Oh well. Hope all goes well in Pittsburgh … you’re in my thoughts.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks so much 🙂 One familiar visit done — peacefully and happily — one more to go.

        But – I totally understand the block 😉


  2. Well… Second ever attempt at this form… *sigh* But who doesn’t love a challenge on an early Saturday morning? *smile* Thanks for a lovel prompt!


  3. Me? Write a ghazal? Don’t be daft.
    You have to be having a laugh.

    Stick to a rhyme scheme
    through fifteen

    couplets. You’re having a laugh.
    Not my scene.

    I do my own thing in my own daft
    way, to make folk laugh.

    Minimum five –
    saints alive,

    I might achieve that;
    at least I’ll strive

    That’s the best I can do off the cuff.
    It’s more than enough.

    You have to laugh.


      • sure thing. couldn’t resist giving it a try and found it *quite* challenging; with a new respect for those poets who could sit and speak to each other in verse, completely impromptu. couldn’t watch the prompt you had up due to bandwith issues, so mine’s prompted by the lunar eclipse, full moon, and lilacs 🙂 might even try it again, makes a nice change from pantoums and haikus . . .

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve been away but now I hope to find time to read all the lovely Ghazal that have come in (what a surprise!) … Love the idea of the lunar eclipse, full moon and lilacs – what a wonderful combination! Hope you do give it a second try … and I know what you mean, it’s fun to get into something longer from time to time.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the pen names….will have to think of one myself one of these days…how did you each choose yours, if you don’t mind sharing?? I’ve written my ghazal…great fun….thanks for an awesome challenge, but it’s not set to post until the 5th…being NaPoWriMo and all. Thanks B&P 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really like what you’ve done, your Ghazal.

    I’ve done one of the Ghazal awhile back. Not a favorite form. Just a tad busy this weekend so I think I’ll stick with the shadorma. I’ve got to catch up and combine a few prompts… or just skip some.

    Happy spring holidays all.


    • You my dear, are a marvel! You know of course the video or photos on this prompt are just to give a hand if you need a starting point but we know and appreciate that poetry is often inspired else where. Thanks for linking in!


Comments are closed.