Author Topic: Poetry Challenge #34 — Something Old, Something New  (Read 15701 times)

Offline eric

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Poetry Challenge #34 — Something Old, Something New
« on: January 16, 2010, 09:03:04 PM »
This contest -- how to make old things new.  One very old thing: unrequited (or unobtainable) love.  That’s the theme. Another old thing:  the ghazal form. You have to go back three millennia to find its origins. Another old thing:  freestyle poetry (roots much farther back). What is new:  the way you handle it.

This is a topic that is old as the hills in poetry, and twice as dusty (hackneyed saying alert!).   But the idea here is to make it as young and fresh and alive as you can.  Make your poem (above all) visceral, fresh, vivid, clear, crafted, twisted, or weird.  Massive triteness will earn you nothing!

In terms of style/form, there are two ways you can write this thing; choose one and one only.

First, if you wish to write without regard to forms, employ any freestyle manner you wish.

Second, if you choose to use a form, use a ghazal. This is pronounced “guzzle” or “ghuzzle” and is an ancient form (1500 years old) written in many languages of the Islamic world, primarily Urdu, Persian, Arabic, Hindi, and Turkic. I will explain formal standards below. Because this is unusual for us, anyone doing a ghazal according to the following standards will get two points added to their total.  No other forms will do, only a ghazal.

   *  The ghazal’s basic meanings are mystical and romantic. That is, romantic love and divine love in the code of romantic love, or something like it.  These can be very erotic.  

    *  A very interesting convention in some ghazals is to lament the love that can't be reached at the same time the poet expresses joy at the beauty of the futile quest -- saying there's nowhere they'd rather be.  That's the sort of thing I mean.

The ghazal’s form is differently defined in different cultures, but here is a simple version:

    * A ghazal has five or more (usually not more than fifteen) couplets.  Each couplet comes to a full stop at the end of the second line of the couplet, and is a complete little poem in itself.  No enjambment between couplets.  While each couplet is an independent poem, a continuous theme may develop and “jump” between couplets. Ours will be limited to between five and ten couplets.

    * Both lines of the first couplet have an internal rhyme and refrain. The second line of each succeeding couplet has the same refrain (repetition of words) and internal (not end) rhyme.  

Here is a really good example of a ghazal in English, by Agha Sahid Ali:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghazal

...   He also has a book of ghazals for sale, which I intend to purchase. Sadly, he died some years ago.      

Summary and Rules:

1.   Theme:  Unrequited Love//Unobtainable Love  
2.   Put a fresh, new twist on the subject; avoid triteness and sad-sack moaning. Be sad if you want, but not sad-sack.
3.   For any poem, no less than 10 nor more than 20 lines, no more than 220 words. Any poems with excess verbiage shall be shot.  
4.   Can be either no-particular-form or (if form) a ghazal.  No sonnets, terza rimas, etc. A ghazal must have the above standard meaning and form.  If it does, it gets 2 extra points.
5.   One submitted poem per MWC personage.
6.   PM your entries to me
7.   Closing date 31 January 2010, 11:59:59 P.M. GMT; voting in workshop.
8.   Voting will be altogether, irrespective of forms or not, except for above bonus.
9.   On completion I will remove any poems from the list if requested so to do.
10.    Plagiarists need not apply.

A note on the rhyme.  As mentioned above, the first two lines have an internal rhyme about the same place in the latter part of each line.  The second line of each succeeding couplet has this same rhyme with the refrain.  This is not an end rhyme.  It precedes the refrain.  

Some writers use other rhyme schemes for their ghazals, but this one is traditional and it's the one we're using.  The so-called bastard ghazals are yesterday's news.  Today's emphasis is on realness.  
« Last Edit: February 01, 2010, 04:37:13 PM by eric »

Offline Akeith (Gray)

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eric,

A very stimulating and excellent challange. This should be a good one indeed.

twisted wheel

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Re: STICKY: Poetry Challenge #34 — Something Old, Something New
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2010, 04:54:55 AM »
put me down for a guzzle ;D

Offline eric

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Re: STICKY: Poetry Challenge #34 — Something Old, Something New
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2010, 09:03:10 AM »
i'll guzzle to that   :D

Offline Mark H

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Re: STICKY: Poetry Challenge #34 — Something Old, Something New
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2010, 09:05:43 AM »
E

If I follow your link I get: Sorry, this poem is no longer available on our site.

M
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If poetry is not your thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PueM04F0Qz8 or: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0Zm8cj9MGg

Offline Mark H

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Re: STICKY: Poetry Challenge #34 — Something Old, Something New
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2010, 09:11:25 AM »
Wiki has an example, probably the same one you mention.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghazal
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 09:20:20 AM by Mark. »
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Offline eric

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Re: STICKY: Poetry Challenge #34 — Something Old, Something New
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2010, 09:21:24 AM »
that is a terrific one, maybe better than the one I cited.  it's funny, that other poem was there yesterday, but I'll switch.  yes, I am using the no enjambment rule, but it's only as between couplets.  I do not think enjambment is prohibido between every line. 

note that that wiki thing only really describes ghazals in urdu.  persian and arabic are somewhat different.  and ali, of course, got to be pretty darn american about it.

thanks.  can you remove my poem from the other list?

Offline Mark H

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Re: STICKY: Poetry Challenge #34 — Something Old, Something New
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2010, 09:37:02 AM »
Done.

This is a great challenge. The combination of the rhyme + refrain makes it a toughie.
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Offline eric

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Re: STICKY: Poetry Challenge #34 — Something Old, Something New
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2010, 09:49:30 AM »
ghazals are so simple, but they're really tough.  i found when trying to write one, though, that they are just fun.  very interesting.  rumi did some of them, and there are ghazal singers ...  several modern American poets do them also.  I am not sure about the English.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 10:03:57 AM by eric »

twisted wheel

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Re: STICKY: Poetry Challenge #34 — Something Old, Something New
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2010, 11:38:07 AM »
... here comes the british invasion then ;D

Offline eric

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Re: STICKY: Poetry Challenge #34 — Something Old, Something New
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2010, 05:42:32 PM »
I would like to invite all those people whom I cannot name by name to write a poem and submit it here.  Ghazals seem to be the most popular at the moment and I would like to see ghazals from all my heros and heroin ... but you choose.  It's all up to you.   No bullying or emotional manipulation from me.  Oh no. 

Come on now, won't you?  Please please please, whine whine, beg beg beg beg ... groveling on floor, on bended knees, crying, spurting, oozing, splashing them tears on down ... the grime turning to mud ... feathers poking out, red, blue, yellow, green, chartreuse ...

well, it gets really rank after that, but maybe you got the idea.

Offline Akeith (Gray)

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Re: STICKY: Poetry Challenge #34 — Something Old, Something New
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2010, 04:24:19 PM »
So, what gives, eric? You have profile photographs on a slide show? And, why are you better looking than me?  :-\

I think ghazals are difficult to write...at least for me. But, hey a challenge none the less.

Offline Mark H

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Re: STICKY: Poetry Challenge #34 — Something Old, Something New
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2010, 04:57:08 PM »
Okay I've done mine. I'll just let it stew for a couple of days before I let big E get his paws on it.
Buy Bristle Side Down, The Man Who Wore Brown Shoes and Middleclass Machismo here:
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twisted wheel

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Re: STICKY: Poetry Challenge #34 — Something Old, Something New
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2010, 05:04:39 PM »
i'm trying hard :'(

Offline eric

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Re: STICKY: Poetry Challenge #34 — Something Old, Something New
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2010, 05:29:19 PM »
I did one, but I had to tell myself it was against the rules.  So myself was disqualified.  Drat.