Issue 22 – July 2008
The results of the challenge using “moon” as the radif were excellent, as you will see when you read the poems. Because of the success of the first two radif challenges, I’m making it a permanent feature of The Ghazal Page. A new radif challenge is posted on the main page.
The issue is arranged in four pages: New Moon, Waxing Moon, Full Moon, and Waning Moon. I used my intuition to decide which poems went on which page and in what order. Because of the “jumps” between couplets, a particular poem may use imagery of more than one phase of the moon; my arrangement is based on my sense of the overall effect of the poems. I hope you are as impressed as I by the range of tones, images, and approaches to the ghazal form in these twenty poems.
If you have comments or responses to any of the poems, you may send them as comments to the blog post announcing this issue. Also, a new radif challenge is posted on the main page.
“Fresh Takes on the Moon”
After reading the proof copy of this issue, Susan J. Erickson responded, “these ghazals demonstrate that there are still fresh takes on the moon.” Sue’s comment says succinctly what I feel about this issue. The freshest take may be Yuan Lin’s anti-romantic perspective. That poem is printed below as a kind of Foreword to the whole issue.
In reviewing the ghazals submitted for this challenge, I realized that distributing them across several pages would make sense. Putting 20 ghazals on several pages makes them more readable and accessible than if they were all strung together on one page. With further reflection, it seemed natural to name the pages with the four phases of the moon.
The ghazals grouped with a phase of the moon don’t necessarily deal with that phase, but the ghazals on each page seemed to me to go together and to be appropriate for the phase. You may read them differently.
There will be no editor’s comments on this group of ghazals. I’ve posted an announcement of this issue on “Don’t Muzzle the Ghazal.” Your comments on the issue are invited there.
A new radif challenge is posted on the main page.
Anti-Romantic Moon Ghazal
There’s loads of sentimental drivel crooned about the moon:
Get real, our subject is a giant lump discarded by the earth.
Lucky for us; they say it helps to stabilize this spinning planet,
One small step: what a platform for ultimate one-upmanship;
But lunar usefulness will not end there, it seems;
The change will be apparent by the time we’ve finished plundering;
Romantic after all, Xuan contemplates another aftermath: