Had We Met Before



The Gazal is a wonderfully simple and yet complex poetic form from seventh century Arabia.

Here is a bit of data from the good folks over at poetry.org :

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.

Traditionally invoking melancholy, love, longing, and metaphysical questions, ghazals are often sung by Iranian, Indian, and Pakistani musicians.

Examples of poems in the Ghazal form:

Even the Rain
by Agha Shahid Ali

Ghazal of the Better-Unbegun
by Heather McHugh

The Ghazal of What Hurt
by Peter Cole
HAD WE MET BEFORE


Had we met before when you could have been straight with me
We could have married, which would have been all great with me.

The moment I knew that you were going to be mine,
Was the very first time you sat down and ate with me.

Spending mornings slumber tangled in each other’s sheets,
You never once minded going to work late with me.

Asked the Stars, the Tarot, the IChing or cookie’s slip,
asked you to gamble on romance, tempt your Fate with me.

I know you were not one for truth or for its freedoms
You spent your time trying to prevaricate with me.

You will now have to wait until the sun cools to brown
Before Reilley will ever tell you to, “Wait with me."

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