Margaret gave the Inklings quite a challenge this month! We wrote ghazals, (Hindi: ग़ज़ल, Arabic: غَزَل, Bengali: গজল, Urdu: غزَل, Persian: غزل, Azerbaijani:
qəzəl, Turkish: gazel, Uzbek: gʻazal, Gujarati: ગઝલ) an ancient Arabic poetry form with five delightfully complicated rules.
I found Ravishing DisUnities by Agha Shahid Ali VERY helpful. This collection of ghazals by 100+ poets (including Diane Ackerman, W.S. Merwin, and Maxine Kumin, just to name a few of the poets whose names I recognized) helped me to suss out the form, AND provided all kinds of variations on the form.
(An aside, related to Bridget’s post about DuoLingo. I’m learning Spanish and Arabic and reviewing my rusty German with DuoLingo. Current status: 90 day streak. When I pasted in “ghazal” in all those different languages (thank you, Wikipedia), I was startled to realize that I can ALMOST read the Arabic! I haven’t learned the “gh” character yet, but I know the little accent mark above it means short a, I know z (with another short a), and I just learned l. WOW!)