A New Thought for the Pensieve
Valeria-Johanna has recently added a new Thought to her Pensieve, a poem called For Lily: a Ghazal. (It’s now poem no. 6.) She writes:
‘That was my first attempt at a Ghazal, an ancient form from the Islamic world which has also been adopted into many Indian languages. It has quite strict rules of form and length, but the really tricky part for me is the fact that each stanza has to be separate, and, ideally, capable of standing on its own as a poem. You can’t carry a story on from verse to verse. Instead, it’s held together by a theme, which is generally concerned with love, either ‘sacred’ or ‘profane’ or both together, often with strong Sufi influences. The love is often unrequited, and the lover’s sufferings can be presented in quite violent terms. Traditionally, the poet works his/her own name or soubriquet into the last stanza.
‘Here’s one in English by Mimi Khalvati (and notice how well she plays with her name in the last stanza). And here’s one in Hindi sung by a master! (The title means “Me and My Loneliness”.)
‘My efforts will no doubt seem a bit pallid after that, but I was driven to try after seeing the film of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 again, with the scenes of the Prince’s Tale. At least, the theme of unrequited love and what it can do to people seemed appropriate!’