The Ghazal originated in Iran during the 10th Century and takes the form of a series of independently themed couplets, with a consistent meter, The defining feature of the Ghazal is the repetition of a word or phrase that occurs in both lines of the first couplet. This word or phrase is called the radif, and from the second stanza onwards each second line contains the radif.
It is also customary for the poet to put their name or pseudonym in the final stanza.
The poem length is usually between five to fifteen couplets, and each couplet is an independent poem, often with a mood swing between couplets.
Below is a Ghazal I have written, hopefully to illustrate the form.
A Ghazal for the paradox of time.
Ever swifter seasons confuse measurement of time
A child’s day or an old man’s week seem of equal time.
Scientists and philosophers offer no explanation
for what some refer to as the illusion of time.
Is time’s flow linear, is now the only reality
or multi-dimensional – all exists at the same time?
We gaze at gleaming stars, but not their present state
the light that travels to us is from historic time.
Are the furtive actions of secret indulgences
endlessly repeating for inspection at any time?
When mist lifts from meadows into the Marram
do fingers slide to hidden silk, time after time?
Do nervous footsteps in nondescript hotel hallways
resonate with need down the passage of time?
Versifier’s memories sharpen with proximity to death
-the sensual overrides as the physical runs out of time.