30FOR30 Poetry Challenge: Form Friday, April 1st

Week One: Memories
April 1st: Ghazal

logoToday’s poetry challenge is to write a ghazal addressing memories. What is a ghazal you ask? “The ghazal 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” (Poets.org).

Here’s a ghazal from Patricia Smith: 

Hip-Hop Ghazal 

Gotta love us brown girls, munching on fat, swinging blue hips,
decked out in shells and splashes, Lawdie, bringing them woo hips.


As the jukebox teases, watch my sistas throat the heartbreak,
inhaling bassline, cracking backbone and singing thru hips.


Like something boneless, we glide silent, seeping ‘tween floorboards,
wrapping around the hims, and ooh wee, clinging like glue hips.


Engines grinding, rotating, smokin’, gotta pull back some.
Natural minds are lost at the mere sight of ringing true hips.


Gotta love us girls, just struttin’ down Manhattan streets
killing the menfolk with a dose of that stinging view. Hips.


Crying ’bout getting old—Patricia, you need to get up off
what God gave you. Say a prayer and start slinging. Cue hips.

Feel free to post your poems in the comments!


One thought on “30FOR30 Poetry Challenge: Form Friday, April 1st

  1. Remembrance consumes, devine; you are beautiful
    Clouded conflicts of last time, you are

    An old thought clinging missing what I long to hold
    Don’t ignore the harold sign; you are beautiful

    The voice of a small poet; booming baritone;
    Thirsty eyes, brown skin so fine; you are beautiful

    But enough of memory, reviving what passed
    Rich thought spent like drunken wine; you are beautiful

    It is tomorrow ALFONZO; and he shalt sing,
    Goodmorning sr your mine and you are beautiful


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