Poet Linda Zisquit in her twenty-eight page chapbook, Ghazal-Mazal, stretches the usually strict and demanding poetic form of ghazal into a playful set of variations—etudes really—that highlight this kind of poem’s potential in the English language.
Ghazal is an Arabic word that traditionally describes a type of love poem written in Persian, Arabic, or Urdu. It is also used in Uzbek by the legendary fifteenth century poet, Alisher Navoiy. Most ghazals consist of between ten and thirty lines combined in couplets. The first two lines end in the same word or phrase and there is a penultimate rhyme before that word or phrase. This end refrain is then repeated in the second line of each couplet. The couplets exit almost independently in the purer versions. And finally the last couplet is a signature couplet bringing the poem’s authorship in some fashion to the foreground.
To read more of my review of Ghazal-Mazal go here: http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2012/01/ghazal-mazal-by-linda-zisquit.html