Featuring winners & finalists of the James Welch Prize; poems by Marilyn Hacker, Antonio López & Phillip B. Williams; essays by Lois Welch & Cedar Sigo & much more
If God blessed vegetation, fish, birds and beasts, /
then humans, did s/he get around to the rocks?
I’ve been interested in the ghazal as a form for a long time, an interest that was awakened by Adrienne Rich’s free-verse ghazals on one hand, and on John Hollander’s witty exposition-by-example of the “formal” ghazal in his prosody handbook Rhyme’s Reason. For me, as for many others, the interest took focus with Aga Sháhid Ali’s work in the form, and with his essay on the ghazal tradition, which appears, in different versions, in the anthology Ravishing Disunities and in the essay anthology An Exaltation of Forms.(Marilyn Hacker) Ghazal: Style Unmistakable, that consummate style pierces the incoherence of her late style. One of them liked to tease out a game for hours; the other had an eight-minute-check-and-mate style. Count stresses; number feet: you’ve got the meter, but there’s no metronome to calibrate style. Words from a dictionary; form-schemes from a textbook provide a trot; they don’t translate style. The urban innocent, one more gay man whose fantasy and flesh respond to straight style. And here is one more student shy of reading the classics, for …