The Ghazal is an adaptation of a Persian form of poetry used to honor emperors and noblemen. A part of this poem broke off and evolved into the Ghazal. It is not a very commonly used English form as it was introduced only recently.
The Ghazal is a string of 5-15 couplets, with each couplet being able to stand alone as a complete thought and/or poem. At the end of the second line of every couplet is a 1-3 word long refrain. The word before the refrain is a rhyme that carries through the entire poem. A rhyming scheme would look like that: AA, BA, CA, DA, and so on.
The first and last couplets are special. In the first couplet, called matla, the rhyme is used in both lines. Often in the last couplet, the author’s penname is used. The last couplet is the most personal one of the poem, and expresses something from the author’s point of view.
Here is a Ghazal by Erin A. Thomas.
Once bright homes in blossom, now dead fallen,
They lay by the spinning blade’s head fallen.
Men sweep, with mighty scythe, life from earth;
Our cathedral columns, tall, spread fallen.
Hewn from dawn to the blazen broad of day-
Always more, as the sun sets red, fallen.
By the grisly hand of a heartless race
Are the very hairs of Earth shred fallen.
Strong men make their living mid plunging boughs,
But their souls are, as they break bread, fallen.
Verdant pillars holding the sky at bay
Are by a terrible greed sped fallen.
Wastelands expand where mystic mist once formed,
Lush realms where life diversely tread, fallen.
“Where went the life that once flourished here?” asked One,
Wailing on the wind, a voice said “Fallen...”
Zahhar’s last hopes with steady pace collapse,
Deep ravaged by a cutting dread, fallen.
Note the repetition of the refrain “fallen” after every couplet, and the author’s penname Zahhar in the last couplet.
Uma’s Ghazal Page [link]
Discovering English Ghazal [link]
When we were doing our world poetry unit in English class, one of my classmates did a presentation on the ghazal since he is Persian. (For extra credit you could read the poem in its orginal language, so that was easy for him.) Apparently in the orginal Arabic version, where we have the same word at the end of a line, they have the same character. Just an interesting little tidbit. Yeah, I think this is modified a bit from the arabic version...
ccol, now, if it was your own pice, (is it?), I might have something to say