This ancient Persian form is excellently explained at www. – go along and join in.

Shrouded Rose






Take a rose then shroud it with drab cotton.
Is this the way we repay God’s bounty?

Cut off the bloom and hide it behind walls.
Is this the way to recognise God’s beauty?

Bleed the poppy to enslave the people.
Is this the way God wants us to behave?

Cut out tongues that voice all female wisdom.
Is this why God created Eve?

Cage the mothers then expect accomplished children.
Is this how God envisaged family?

Blindfold half a nation, destroy their hearts, their souls.
My God weeps at the way we use His word.

About SallyJ

I am a writer and a poet.
This entry was posted in Dversepoetry, Ghazals, poet, poetic forms, poetry, writer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Ghazal

  1. Sandra says:

    Moving and very powerful – let’s hope that some day these sentiments won’t apply to any woman.

  2. hollyheir says:

    This was powerful. I like your repetitions as they moved in each second line forcing the mind to attack the thought at least twice and think hard about the meaning of each couplet. I am so in tune with what you’re saying and as far as I can interpret John’s article, you seemed to have kept to the structure exactly. More importantly I think you have expressed your love and passion very eloquently. Thank you for writing and linking. Gay

  3. SallyJ says:

    Thank you Gay and Sandra…I found this tough, but it is a great form for focussing thought.

  4. claudia says:

    …Take a rose then shroud it with drab cotton..what an excellent first line…drew me right into your ghazal sally…beautiful and powerful use of the form

  5. tashtoo says:

    I am no form master…but I have to tell you, your write got my heart racing! I could write a book in response. A wonderful, poetic call for all of us to wake up! Loved the power of your words, and the truth in your message. Bravo!!!

  6. I love your take on the form. Great imagery and some super lines, and thought the repetition was an excellent touch.

  7. Mama Zen says:

    This is such a well-crafted, powerful write. I really enjoyed this.

  8. Demanding, with a bite and no apology, well said.

  9. Hi, my feedback is based on these five factors starting from a traditional perspective but also looking at modern developments. Please note, I’m only commenting on the use of the form so other than a gentle nod to your content I keep away from a workshop style critique. I am drawing on Agha Shahid Ali’s, chapter from An Exaltation of forms (Ed Finch and Varnes). This is a poem of his based on the traditional rules. Now back on to your poem.

    1) Association
    One of the key factors of the form – traditional or modern is that the couplets need to be based as it were on variations on a theme. And standalone as the order should not matter. These are standalone and interchangable.

    2) Theme
    The first couplet usually sets out the theme of the poem, which seems to be about the treatment of women, the poor in God’s name when God’s Love says otherwise.

    3) Couplets
    A nice sequence of couplets with no enjambment. Some enjambment occurs in the modern forms but as the exception in the poem rather than the norm, You don’t refer to the narrator/writer in the last couplet.

    4) Rhyme and refrain
    In the classical tradition, the opening couplet would set the refrain and internal rhyme in the first and second line. Then in the rest of the couplets the refrain and internal rhyme would be on the second line. You clearly dont follow this patten but have a refain question instead.

    5) Metre
    I’m not sure what you have gone for as the beats and meter seem to shift from couplet to couplet

    In short, you have updated the ghazal but kept to a classical theme

    • SallyJ says:

      Great feedback – thank you. Metre is my weakest point when I write and you have identified this here – I am undisciplined! As this was my first Ghazal, I tried to go with theme and overall ‘style’. Next time I will concentrate on internal rhyme as well. Thank you for your help and for pointing the way to improvement…

  10. jaytale says:

    As you know Sally I have attempted the Ghazal and after John(@bookdreamer)’s comments I now have to go away and study the form even harder. His comments are great but I also think your poem is great and strong and says so much. Maybe your poem is not technically perfect as a Ghazal but does that matter? Is it not acceptable to break the form if the end result achieves what you have set out to do? (Will this be number 1?)

    • SallyJ says:

      I agree that form can be adapted Jill – but it’s good to know what to work on too…it may just help me find another element to the poem. This could very well be number one, now all I need is no. 50!

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