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Issue 28 – August 2009

Tercet Challenge

At long last, here are the results of the tercet challenge. There were enough successful tercet ghazals to populate four pages, linked from the index for the tercet challenge. I’ve assigned each page a somewhat arbitrary one-word title, drawn from one of the ghazals on that page. In compiling the pages, I tried to create sequences with some continuity and surprise. Other sequences are, of course, possible, as would be other titles for each page. In any case, read and delight!

There is a new radif challenge on the main page: check it out!

Grains of Sand

Pearls notoriously form around irritants: grains of sand in oysters. The tercet challenge, along with the radif challenges, is a grain of sand that irritated a number of oysters, resulting in the pearls to be found in this special issue of The Ghazal Page.

The ghazals written in response to the tercet challenge are very successfull. There are some intriguing formal variants, such as Esther Mürer’s use of Welsh rhyming for the qafiya in her poem or the use of two radifs in Elliott batTzedek’s ghazal. Each of these ghazals deserves careful reading with attention to its sounds.

Please consider submitting tercet ghazals for future issues. Given the quality of these tercet ghazals, they would go well with ghazals written in two-line shers.


Stephanie Jones

Ruby, emerald, diamond, pearl —
What is your treasure of great price
For which you’d sacrifice — your pearl?

I gave it not, you took it not,
Yet there it lies before blind eyes,
Before swine, before you, my pearl.

In the shadows lurks some dark thing
Crying, mad with longing, love, or lust,
“My precious! My precious! My pearl!”

Would you judge the thief, the covetous,
Or the purely idolatrous?
Why? Leave it for the gates of pearl.

Sometimes, the capricious muse may grant
The poet pearls for a necklace, and
Sometimes, a grain of sand for a pearl.

Ellen Head Nuts and Bolts
Michael Helsem . . . Bourbaki
. . . out of print
Bill Batcher Trinity’s Necessity
Susan J. Erickson Myriads of Sounds
Esther Mürer Welsh Ghazal
Richard McCullough Sunday
Caroline Gill Waves
Taylor Graham Sheep in Bad Weather
Karin Andersen Table Mountain
Mary Cresswell The Border Is the Capital
Robert Godwin In the Valley
David Jalajel Sa(l)vaging the Starlet
Ava C. Cipri Happily Ever After
Roger Robison Changes in Point of View
Elliott batTzedek My Golden Thing: A Ghazal
Conrad Geller Wandering: Ghazal
Bernard Gieske Seasons of the Heart
Ellen Pickus Tercets
Adrian Koesters Desire Ghazal

About larrygates

Web developer of Ghazal Page. Sometime pseudonymous ghazalkar.