G is for Goblin and a Ghazal

I'm Blogging from A to Z in April writing poems A to Z about vanity plates in Maine A to Z.

  Here is the MASTER LIST of ALL participants who signed up for the #AtoZchallenge 2018!

I chose to write a Ghazal.  The description is not fun to read, but go ahead and see if you can understand 
it before reading mine.  Bet you won't have a clue.  I had to find one to read first to make sure I was reading
it correctly..  I'm trusting that they are right.
This is not a form I would choose to sit down and write because it was pounding in my brain to be released.
No.  I will not find a random Ghazal wandering around in my brain waiting for an outlet, I'm sure. 

"A Ghazal is a poem that is made up like an odd numbered chain of couplets, where each couplet is 
an independent poem. It should be natural to put a comma at the end of the first line. The Ghazal 
has a refrain of one to three words that repeat, and an inline rhyme that precedes the refrain. 
Lines 1 and 2, then every second line, has this refrain and inline rhyme, and the last couplet should 
refer to the author's pen-name... The rhyming scheme is AA bA cA dA eA etc."
Links to the form:
Who's in the Barn?

They say there's a goblin in the barn
Floating between beams gray-brown in the barn;

I say there's an owl that howls
Swooping silently down in the barn;

Some whisper that a ghost prowls
Wearing gauze gown in the barn;

I say there's a goat with whiskery jowls
Who's a curious clown in the barn;

Could it be spooky specters in the barn's bowels,
Or benign beasts Mainely spies after sundown in the barn?

by Donna JT Smith, 2018

My refrain was "in the barn".  The in line rhymes preceding each were "brown -down -gown -clown -sundown".  I chose to rhyme the first line of 2,3,4 and 5 with "howls" - though that is not necessary.  My pen name I took from my web page "Mainely".
Here are two more plates that are fun:


  1. You're right, I definitely needed to see your example for the explanation to make sense. Ghazal might not be such a popular form for just this very reason.

    1. It takes a bit of thought to decide what your repeat will be and what word can go with it that might have a goodly number of appropriate rhyming words. Then the rest can be worked out I imagine if you get more familiar with it, you can "think in Ghazal" better!

  2. I have a friend who only writes Ghazals. Can you imagine. He writes one a month and has a published collection. I’ve only ever written one and like you I had to read a number of them to understand. I love the sounds of your word choices.

    1. I was just saying to Deborah above, that I imagine if you get more familiar with it, you can "think in Ghazal" better! Your friend must have mastered that! Does he have any online to read? I'd love to read more of them.

  3. Wow! This is a cool concept. I like to figure out vanity plates when I see them. You really went full challenge mode for this year's Challenge.

    Never heard of a Ghazal, but it seems to me you did a good job writing one.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out (A)

    1. We have a plethora of plates here in Maine. It's kind of fun patrolling the parking lots for fun good ones.

  4. Oh wow. I never even heard of that. Nicely done!

    1. That's the fun of AtoZ...always something new to learn!

  5. Ghazal is a very popular form where I come from, usually love songs/poetry - unique and fun take.

    1. I'll bet there are some spectacular ones! I haven't read many myself.

  6. Only YOU could take such a complicated rhyme scheme (end AND internal? Holy wow!) and make it work so perfectly! Huzzah!

    1. I'm evidently a glutton for punishment...or poetry. I probably have a problem and poetry just helps feed my addiction.

  7. Before this I thought ghazals were written only in Urdu and sometimes in Hindi!
    This is a revelation

    1. I believe there are not so many written in English.

  8. Replies
    1. It hurt mine too when I first read the directions. Once seen, it isn't as complex!


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