Astronomy challenge – 2011
Thoughts, like meteors, draw lines in the sky connecting stars and human lives. All the constellations are artifacts of our cultures —
“As above, so below.” Every existing thing a gem in Indra’s Net, each gem reflecting all the others while remaining itself. The eighteen ghazals in this issue form a small but glowing strand of Indra’s Jewel Net.
The Astronomy Challenge
The theme of the new challenge is astronomy. As with the books challenge, the astronomy challenge focuses on a theme rather than a common radif or format. (See under “The Format” the formal possibilities for this challenge. You may submit up to three ghazals on some astronomical theme. The form of the ghazals may be “traditional” (Persian/Urdu), Arabic, tercets, “free,” or some variation of any of these. Note that a “free” ghazal must be in couplets or single long lines and have “jumps” between couplets or lines.
Astronomy is an encompassing topic, including planets, stars, asteroids, comets, nebulae, galaxies, dark matter, supernovae, black holes, quantum foam, string theory, constellations, auroras, space vehicles, even our sun and moon — anything beyond the earth’s atmosphere, even perceived from down at the bottom of this lovely gravity well.
The Ghazal Page has published several examples of ghazals with astronomical themes: “Leonard’s Moon,” by Taylor Graham, “Of Stars,” by David Lunde, and the results of a challenge with the radif “moon.” These are examples of traditional Persian/Urdu ghazals. Here’s an example of a free ghazal, with fourteen-syllable lines. It also has a signature couplet.
You have a range of formats to choose from:
Please note that the Persian/Urdu ghazal differs from the Arabic in form, although definitions such as Answers.com do not make this distinction.
To be considered for the special issue presenting this challenge, your ghazal must follow the theme and format specifications.
If there are special concerns of format in your ghazals — spacing, style, etc — attach a document that shows the formatting you want. It can be in Word DOC, Open Office, WordPerfect, or PDF format.