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Issue 24 – November 2008

The Sugar Radif Challenge

The sugar radif challenge finally makes its appearance. There are 18 ghazals there, with quite different approaches to the use of “sugar” as the radif. While you may not find each of the 18 to your taste, I’m sure there are several that will please you. One would think (a) that writing a poem that repeats the same word or phrase at least six times would be monotonous and (b) that putting 18 poems together all using that same phrase would lead to intense monotony. These ghazals are far from monotonous — and no artificial sweeteners in them either.

“One Lump or Two?”

I didn’t know what to expect in response to the sugar radif challenge. It turns out that some sweet ghazals can be built around that radif, displaying the many meanings and overtones of the word, “sugar.” Because of my health, I hardly ever eat sugar, although once in awhile I do taste a bit of sugar. I hope you will taste these ghazals, all centering on sugar, to discover the many flavors of sugar.


Esther Greenleaf Mürer

Gino called for ghazals with the radif “sugar”,
such a desperate craving had he for sugar.

Writing ghazals is better and safer than eating;
everybody knows you get bad teeth from sugar.

Please, sir, won’t you let me carry your golf clubs?
I don’t want money, but I’ll caddy for sugar.

Here’s a good chance for diabetic poets
to weep and mourn and write a kaddish for sugar.

Water schmahter, forget about the oasis;
I search on hands and knees down the wadi for sugar.

OK, so I let you cast me as your toyboy,
but don’t think it means that I’m a naif, sugar.

Sent to school with the burden of a balanced lunch,
the wee bairn traded his finnan haddie for sugar.

Brazilians know how to draw the tourists; that’s why
in Rio they named their local massif for sugar.

Ecuador is the paradise where, when they die,
French-speaking dudes go to flash their wads of sucre.

I won’t listen to the music of Ernest Schlock
because it has only one Leitmotiv: sugar.

Out in the world they think that my name is Esther;
back in the tribe I’m known as Mad Chief Sugar.

Raw Sugar
Chauna Craig Craving
Bernard Gieske Wide-Eyed World of Sugar
Sugar on My Mind
Just Sugar, Sweet Sugar
Joel Neubauer Adam by Any Definition
Song of Songs 2:1-2
Ron Koertge “…sugar”
Cane Sugar
Linda Papanicolaou Children of Cane
Simone Tuttoilmondo My Soldier
Taylor Graham Sweets of Life
Raindust Sugar Is Sweet, No?
Refined Sugar
David Quentin Dauthier A Glucose-Induced Ghazal
Lucy Kempton Ghazal
Sugar Cubes
Michael Helsem “…sugar”
Juliet Wilson “…sugar”
Adrian Gibbons Koesters “…sugar”
Danielle De Feo “…sugar”

About larrygates

Web developer of Ghazal Page. Sometime pseudonymous ghazalkar.