Ghazal- persian sonnet

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Richard taylor

Ghazal- persian sonnet

Post by Richard taylor » Thu Jun 30, 2005 11:07 am

Ghazal - Persian Sonnet
this has the clasic thoughts of couplets that in themselves can be considered "a complete thought " in two lines or as long as you care to make them.

The ghazal (also spelled ghazel or ghazl) is lyric love poetry dating back to the 7th Century in Arabia. Pronounced "guzzle," it usually consists of 5 to 15 couplets. The couplets are united by both a rhyme scheme and refrain, but have a thematic disunity and no enjambment between couplets.

According to Agha Shahid Ali, "each couplet must be like a precious stone that can shine even when plucked from the necklace though it certainly has greater luster in its setting."

[1] The ghazal tradition can be found in Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Turkish, Pashto, Hindi, and Spanish.

In the first couplet (matla), the poem establishes its rhyme scheme (quafia) at the end of both lines, followed by a refrain (radif). In the following couplets the rhyme and refrain are only found in the second of the two lines. According to John Hollander,

For couplets the ghazal is prime; at the end
Of each one's a refrain like a chime: 'at the end.'

But in subsequent couplets throughout the whole poem,
It's the second line only will rhyme at the end. (lines 1-4)

HAFIZ - B.1325/26, Shiraz, Iran ~ d. 1389/90, Shiraz

HAFIZ - created this form of 'sonnet' known as a Persian Sonnet. Here is a short history of Hafiz, followed by translations of a couple of his Ghazals.

Hafez received a classical religious education, lectured on Qur'anic and other theological subjects ("Hafez" designates one who has learned the Qur'an by heart), and wrote commentaries on religious classics. As a court b.

poet he enjoyed the patronage of several rulers of Shiraz.

About 1368-69 Hafez fell out of favour at the court and did not regain his position until 20 years later, just before his death. In his poetry there are many echoes of historical events as well as biographical descriptions and details of life in Shiraz. One of the guiding principles of his life was Sufism, the Islamic mystical movement that demanded of its adherents complete devotion to the pursuit of union with the ultimate reality.

Hafez's principal verse form, one that he brought to a perfection never achieved before or since, was the ghazel, a lyric poem of 6 to 15 couplets linked by unity of subject and symbolism rather than by a logical sequence of ideas.

Traditionally the ghazel had dealt with love and wine, motifs that, in their association with ecstasy and freedom from restraint, lent themselves naturally to the expression of Sufi ideas.

Hafez's achievement was to give these conventional subjects a freshness and subtlety that completely relieves his poetry of tedious formalism.

An important innovation credited to Hafez was the use of the ghazel instead of the qasida (ode) in panegyrics. Hafez also reduced the panegyric element of his poems to a mere one or two lines, leaving the remainder of the poem for his ideas.

The extraordinary popularity of Hafez's poetry in all Persian-speaking lands stems from his simple and often colloquial though musical language, free from artificial virtuosity, and his unaffected use of homely images and proverbial expressions. Above all, his poetry is characterized by love of humanity, contempt for hypocrisy and mediocrity, and an ability to universalize everyday experience and to relate it to the mystic's
unending search for union with God.

His appeal in the West is indicated by the numerous translations of his poems. Hafez is most famous for his Divan; Eng. prose trans., H. Wilberforce Clarke, Hafiz Shirazi. The Divan (1891, reprinted 1971). There is also a translated collection: A.J. Arberry, Fifty Poems of Hafiz (1947).


"Ho! O Saki, pass around and offer the bowl (of love for God):
For (the burden of) love (for God) at first (on the day of covenant) appeared easy, but (now) difficulties have occurred,

By reason of the perfume (hope) of the musk-pod,
that, at the end (of night), the breeze displayeth
from that (knotted) fore-lock,— From the twist of its musky (dark, fragrant) curl, what
blood (of grief) befell the hearts (of the lovers of God)!

With wine becolour the prayer-mat—if the Pir of the magians (the perfect murshid) bid thee;
For of the way and usage of the stages (to God) not without knowledge is the holy traveller (the perfect murshid).
In the stage (this world) of the (true) Beloved,— mine what ease and pleasure, when momently,
The (loud) bell (of the call of death) giveth voice,
'Bind ye up the chattels of existence!'

The dark night (of the world), and the fear of the wave (of grief), and the whirlpool so fearful (the time of death).
The light-burdened ones of the shore (ancestors who have passed the flood of death),
— how know they our state ?
By following my own fancy (in hastening to union with God), me (only) to ill fame all my work brought;
Secret,—how remaineth that great mystery (of love) whereof (great) assemblies speak ?
HAFIZ! if thou desire the presence (union with God Most High)—from Him be not absent:
When thou visitest thy Beloved, abandon the world; and let it go."

Parting's day and night of sev'rance From the Friend, at last, is ended;
And my need, through favouring planets, Since the lot I cast, is ended.

All the weariful vexation, That from Winter came and Autumn,
In the footsteps of the breezes Of the Spring is past, is ended.

To Hope's morning, self-secluded In the curtain of the future,
Say, Come forth, for lo! the business Of the night aghast is ended.'

God be thanked that, with the coming Of the cap-peak of the rose-bud,
Might of thorn and overweening Of December's blast is ended.

All the heart's grief and amazement Of the darksome nights of winter,
With the shadow of the loveling's Ringlets overcast, is ended.

Though my case's first embroilment From that tress of hers proceeded,
Yet the tangle of my troubles By her face as fast is ended.

To the winehouse-door henceforward Will I go with harp and tabret,
Now that, by her grace, the story Of chagrin, at last, is ended.

I'm no longer a believer In the perfidy of Fortune,
Since, in union with the Loved One, Parting's tale at last is ended.

Skinker, kindness hast thou shown us, (Be thy goblet full of liquor!)
Our cropsickness, by thy manage, From the head out-cast, is ended.

Hafiz in. consideration And esteem though no one holdeth,
God be thanked that this affliction, Without limit vast, is ended


edited by annie with thanks
Last edited by Richard taylor on Mon Jul 04, 2005 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Moongem » Sun Jul 03, 2005 12:42 pm

:shock: Wow, Richard... I only scanned this post, and know I need to print it off for further study, it has the 'feel' of what I've been craving, lately, form, formula, theme, a certain limitless, or, um, power-giving ability to control the amount of couplets used, unlike the sonnet.

It has personality, focusability, and a nature of romance, a wooing of sorts. And the quality of the information you provided is exemplary, thank you.

Jerry's claiming the computer for 'banking business', I will contemplate this new form while washing windows. :)

Oh, and I like your new avatar, it 'suits' you better.


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Richard taylor

Post by Richard taylor » Sun Jul 03, 2005 12:47 pm

thanks erin, [the photo is too big can't seam to make it smaller] I'v always liked sonnets and couplets, i'm going to try this.

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Post by Eternum 1 » Sun Jul 03, 2005 1:44 pm

I'm a fan of Hafiz:

A Suspended Blue Ocean
The sky
Is a suspended blue ocean.
The stars are the fish
That swim.

The planets are the white whales
I sometimes hitch a ride on,

And the sun and all light
Have forever fused themselves

Into my heart and upon
My skin.

There is only one rule
On this Wild Playground,

For every sign Hafiz has ever seen
Reads the same.

They all say,

"Have fun, my dear; my dear, have fun,
In the Beloved's Divine

O, in the Beloved's
Wonderful Game."

<center>laughing at the word two

That Illumined

Who keeps
Seducing the formless into form

Had the charm to win my

Only a Perfect One

Who is always
Laughing at the word

Can make you know


Love. <center>

Would you think it odd...
Would you think it odd if Hafiz said,

"I am in love with every church
And mosque
And temple
And any kind of shrine

Because I know it is there
That people say the different names
Of the One God."

Would you tell your friends
I was a bit strange if I admitted

I am indeed in love with every mind
And heart and body.

O I am sincerely
Plumb crazy
About your every thought and yearning
And limb

Because, my dear,
I know
That it is through these

That you search for Him


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Eternum 1
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Post by Eternum 1 » Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:14 pm



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Post by bags123 » Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:44 am

I've not familiar with the form,..... but found the poetry to be exceptional. Kudo's to you ET.
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