Friday, April 20, 2012

More O.P.P. (Yeah...

... you know me.)  One of my own again soon.

Kind of a depressing poem for a Friday, but I really like the structure, the cleverness of the moves.  I'm just learning about ghazals, and they are a fascinating form.  Maybe I'll create a ghazal blog entry soon.  I tried writing one, realized I'd done it wrong but of course am really attached to the poem I wrote after heavy revision... writing in forms is challenging, motivating, educative.  It's not something I feel compelled to do all the time by any means.  Each poem finds its own form most of the time.  But each time I learn more about a new form and attempt it, I learn more about writing.  Anyway...

Ghazal of the Better-Unbegun by Heather McHugh

       A book is a suicide postponed.

Too volatile, am I? too voluble? too much a word-person?
I blame the soup: I'm a primordially
stirred person.

Two pronouns and a vehicle was Icarus with wings.
The apparatus of his selves made an ab-
surd person.

The sound I make is sympathy's: sad dogs are tied afar.
But howling I become an ever more un-
heard person.

I need a hundred more of you to make a likelihood.
The mirror's not convincing-- that at-best in-
ferred person.

As time's revealing gets revolting, I start looking out.
Look in and what you see is one unholy
blurred person.

The only cure for birth one doesn't love to contemplate.
Better to be an unsung song, an unoc-
curred person.

McHugh, you'll be the death of me -- each self and second studied!
Addressing you like this, I'm halfway to the
third person.

I found the above poem on the Poetry Foundation website.  And here's another I just heard read by Natasha Trethewey on the Diane Rehm show.  They did not mention that it is a ghazal, but the form is so recognizable...


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