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first for August

What do you know about me?
Things you should know about me:

I’m not clever with mirrors.
I do not blow smoke. Not me.

I’m not my clothes, hair, makeup, skin.
I am inside these things, me.

You make me laugh; I like that.
A great compliment, from me.

“I had a good time,” I say.
I mean it; believe you me.

I ask “want to come on in?”
I like you, trust you, me.

“Want to go to bed?” Too bold?
I want you to sleep with me.

“Good morning! Coffee?” I ask.
I want you to stay with me.

I’m not clever with mirrors.
I do not blow smoke, not me.

What do you know about me?
All this, you’ve learned about me.

This is the very first poem I've ever written! It is a Ghazal, sort of. I don't exactly understand how the rhyme scheme is supposed to work, but I followed all the other rules of Ghazals, I think. Oddly, it was easier with the Ghazal form; I tried free verse first, and I couldn't make it work.

Old dog! New tricks!


( 11 comments — What Say You? )
Aug. 9th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
Helluva new trick!!
Aug. 10th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It is the result of days and days of chewing on the prompt.
Aug. 10th, 2009 08:56 am (UTC)
Excellent! I'm not one for poetry as people know, but I loved the rhythm of this, how you keep returning to certain words and build something out of them.
Aug. 10th, 2009 01:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you! The rhythm of the repeated word is part of the form; I think formal poetry is easier to write than free verse.
Aug. 11th, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC)
I think so, too! I'm so excited for you. Your first poem and an adorable one, at that! Congrats!
Aug. 17th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)
I agree! I have always found metered verse easier than free verse.

Oh okay right I AM YOUR EDITOR. This is my editor face.

I mean, who writes ghazals! That's so cool! What a bold and exciting step, I think; most people start with haiku, or really bad poetry that looks like
this, the broken
syntax falling in between
poorly en-
-jambed lines
like broken glass between
the muscles
of my heart.

You have neatly avoided that.

I'm not sure there's enough for me to really sink my teeth into! It's a lovely poem, and I'm no authority on Persian forms. Do you have any questions about poetry, writ large? I can help there!

Aug. 17th, 2009 08:00 pm (UTC)
Hey, thanks! We had focused on one of Adreinne Rich's Ghazals last semester, and I became fascinated with the form. I still don't quite get it, but I'm working on it.

I think formal poetry is going to become my hobby; I write so much prose, both creativele and academically, that I want to do something that is more distilled.

What sorst of forms do you write in? I would like to try Villanelles, and maybe sonnets; but then I read Shakespeare's, and that's a bit intimidating.
Aug. 18th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
Sonnets aren't that scary!

I find that, more often than not, I don't write in length-based forms as much as I just work within restrictive meters, and then parody people.

One of the best poems I think I ever wrote (or at least one of the ones I enjoyed the most; I'm not sure what the criteria are for Poetic Goodness) was a class assignment where I had to mimic the style of Jonathan Swift's scatological poetry, which is mostly in iambic tetrameter:

the poems we write are sometimes found
to struggle, wormlike, on the ground
and so it is, we often feel
that crushing with the booted heel
will somethingy et cetera.

(obviously I just made that up now.)

But I like iambic tetrameter because it has sort of a cute, inoffensive singsonginess to it. It's not such a short line that you have to sacrifice sense for syllables, but it's not as long as pentameter, which sometimes causes people to stretch for those two last syllables. It doesn't sound like a lot but it realllly is.
Aug. 11th, 2009 03:17 am (UTC)
I had never heard of a Ghazal. Interesting form. Good work. (Nice to see you back!)
Aug. 17th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
THank you! It's great to be back!
Aug. 11th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
As someone who derives the feeling of being loved from words, I love the middle few stanzas where you put out a phrase and interpret its meaning -- especially "I want you to stay with me."

It is funny how our meaning is often hidden that way, even if we do not intend them to be.
( 11 comments — What Say You? )