“Ghazal is obsessive (did I say that yet?). Ghazal is obsessive”: on the ghazal, pt. 5

October 9, 2018 § Leave a comment


Ghazal wants loss. Ghazal loves a wasteland where the sun has, not quite, set. Ghazal resists adjectives, similes. Ghazal is this, is that. Ghazal demands allusions because ghazal is history, lineage, the remembered face. Ghazal craves the Anglo-Saxon. Ghazal says — repeat after me: love, dark, light, shadows, hands, mouth, lips, seed, tears, scars, flower, seasons, words. Ghazal withholds. Ghazal, a — rebel, an iconoclast, clings with all its might to the Newtonian universe. Ghazal talks to itself. Ghazal has faith in the simple. Ghazal speaks or doesn’t. Ghazal adores a trinity. Ghazal is obsessive (did I say that yet?). Ghazal is obsessive.

–Catherine Owen, from Shall: ghazals, p.18*

*lucky find during one of my trips to Edmonton this summer¬†in The Edmonton Bookstore¬†(one of the best used poetry selections, with a particular focus on Canadian poetry, that I’ve ever seen; one of my favourite poets).

  1. “Two crows on a globe of light / If I could dip my pen in their wings.”
  2. Decayed plant matter to peat to lignite to sub-bitumous coal to bitumous coal to anthracite, condensed over millions of years.
  3. Liquorice, licorice, sweet root.
  4. Snowfall on Desolation. Night sky over Lightning Creek.

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