High in a plane, I gazed down at a mountain
and dreamed about the view from the mountain.
In a flat landscape scattered with windmills,
I’ve climbed a low hill but never a mountain..
I stuck out my tongue to taste the spring rain
and imagined the flavour of air on a mountain.
I looked at sunflowers and beet in the fields
and wondered about the plants on a mountain.
I told myself, Kim, if you want to find out,
put on your hiking boots and go – find a mountain.
Kim M. Russell, 2017
Image found on Pinterest
My response to Carpe Diem Universal Jane #12 mountain view
This month at CDHK, we are exploring the Persian poets. A poetry form they often used is the Ghazal and Chèvrefeuille has discovered that Jane Reichhold also wrote Ghazal.
He tells us that Ghazals traditionally invoke melancholy, love, longing and metaphysical questions, and are often sung by Iranian, Indian, and Pakistani musicians. The form has roots in seventh-century Arabia, and gained prominence in the thirteenth and fourteenth century thanks to such Persian poets as Rumi and Hafiz. In the eighteenth-century, the Ghazal was used by poets writing in Urdu, a mix of the medieval languages of Northern India, including Persian. Among these poets, Ghalib is the recognized master.
The Ghazal sounds complicated: it is composed of a minimum of five couplets—and typically no more than fifteen—that are structurally, thematically and emotionally autonomous. Each line of the poem must be of the same length, though meter is not imposed in English. The first couplet introduces a scheme, made up of a rhyme followed by a refrain. Subsequent couplets pick up the same scheme in the second line only, repeating the refrain and rhyming the second line with both lines of the first stanza. The final couplet usually includes the poet’s signature, referring to the author in the first or third person, and frequently including the poet’s own name or a derivation of its meaning. Sounds complicated!
Chèvrefeuille has given us two examples: one Agha Shahid Ali, entitled “Even The Rain” and one by Jane Reichhold entitled: “reversible towels”, which he has reproduced in his post and which he hopes will inspire us to take up his challenge to create a Ghazal.