Put a Muzzle on My Ghazals

Poetry Friday logo by Linda Mitchell

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

This month, our Poetry Princess challenge was the ghazal. To be honest, I’m not a fan.

My first attempt came out whiny. I know people are tired of hearing about how much I hate hot weather! But we’ve got a lot going on–kind of a family crisis–and my brain is just tired and irritable. This is what came out:

So then I decided, the next day, to try to remember what I loved about summer as a kid. (I still hated the hot weather, though, even then!) And to write from a kid’s perspective. This is the first draft of that one:

I’m not super wild about either poem draft, but at least the second one puts me in a better frame of mind! Be sure to check out the rest of my Poetry Sisters’ links–and anyone else who’s played along, too!


Mary Lee

Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations. 

The lovely Patricia Franz is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup this week!




22 Responses

  1. Love the contrast between your two poems, Laura! Hope your summer is filled with lots of cool moments.

  2. I wrote a ghazal in April & shared the link in my post, also not much of a fan, but you made it work, Laura. I especially liked the gentle movement in the 2nd poem, to the nice, like the line about your mom.

  3. Favorite line from all of them: “and count down the days to the fall of summer.” Laura, it did not sound whiny! It sounded h o t — so the second poem was a sweet follow up. Yes, as kids we had far more patience for heat! Hope you’ll find an escape to cooler temps and relief.

  4. A double-ghazal for the WIN! I definitely relate to your first one. That last stanza — “the hot woolen skin of summer” — so perfect.

  5. “We’re failures if we never bleed in the summer.” !! This second poem brought so much back for me, especially as our Georgia turns 23 today. Ah, to have those summers back. Give these time and reread later, Laura. I think you may find that you appreciate them given space. I do now! xo, a.

  6. I’m officially grumpy because you managed TWO ghazels and they’re both so wholly themselves, hanging together and reading with an effortless feel and ticking to their own internal rhyme (this does not mean they were effortless to write, obviously, but…). You’re so GOOD at this!

    I join you in loathing hot weather — even as I do want the tomatoes to Actually Do Something, but eighty is good enough…

  7. Both poems touch on well know aspects of summer, the heat that can get oppressive, and the desire for freedom that many kids in school feel. These are both delightful! I know the hot woolen skin of summer and the need for leafy shade. I enjoyed these!

  8. You did it! Both ghazals are awesome! The best thing about summer for me is the break from teaching. I can’t stand the heat and humidity.

  9. You may not have liked this form, but it likes you…these both were great, and I loved reading them back to back. Some favorite lines: “reaching for the broad and the green tall of summer” and “we’re failures if we never bleed in the summer” Ha! So true.

  10. I’m with you, Laura. I’m not a fan of the heat. Your line about bleeding in summer, and bikes speeding, brought back some great memories. And the corn and slushies. Ahhh, summer. We both love it and can’t wait for it to end. Just like MN winters. I’m sorry for your family problems and send you many good wishes.

  11. I adore the second poem and think it works really well. It so captures childhood in the summer. I love the line “We’re failures if we never bleed in the summer.”
    I think your kid-friendly poem contrasts nicely with the first. It echoes many of my negative thoughts about summer.
    Don’t think for a minute you didn’t do this form justice. You did.

  12. Laura, it didn’t sound whiny at all. To me, it felt like you were fed up with summer, and I loved the line, “and count down the days to the fall of summer” which I found both clever and articulate. I hope you have a lovely summer and that the family crisis blows away with the winds of autumn.

  13. Laura, your down-to-earth honesty is always refreshing! I prefer summer to winter, but I grew up running wild in the woods & groves & beaches of Florida. Love that raspberry slushie line. I hope things are calming down for you & yours so you can enjoy the extra light & have shelter from the heavy air.

  14. Thanks for sharing these Laura. the ghazal looks hard, but your efforts are satisfying, especially with the two sides of the topic. me? I love summer and am feeling a bit whingy that ours is over. Sorry to hear it’s tough for you at the moment. x

  15. OK, you say you’re not a fan but… LAURA!! I love these, the 2nd one especially so. Your sensory images throughout are absolutely spot on!!

  16. Bring ON the summer! I’ll take all of everything in both poems!

  17. Wow, you may not be a fan, but you excelled here! (And I’m with you on hot weather … hate it. Love the overall vibe of summer, but I hate being overheated!)

  18. Laura, I am finally here at your blog and I must say I admire both poems. The first one was serious: lead shawl to woolen skin of summer and the second one was light as you opened your heart to summer. Life is full of down and up moods as your poems reflect. Here’s to a fabulous summer of ups! I had no time to write a ghazal with a new little one arriving and my Uncle passing.I am on my way to Central NY for the funeral. While the day is beautiful the drive is VERY long.

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