Dawn is Waking: A Ghazal


John La Farge, “The Dawn,” 1899, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Public Domain, Wikipedia



From the sea, in golden robes, from dark night, dawn is waking

Rubbing sleep from rosy cheek, from moonlight, dawn is waking.


Robin sings a morning trill, acolyte, as light is breaking

Cats yawn and stretch, then bathe, with bird in sight, as dawn is waking


Tides flow and ebb, leave crabs and water sprite, along the beaches

Gulls swoop to capture them, in raucous flight, as dawn is waking


And the woman and the man, what of them when light first rises

Seeking warmth, seeking love, embracing tight, when dawn is waking?


Smiths of words, with pen in hand, come to light, in morning’s quiet

Waiting for inspiration, for love, write, as dawn is waking.


Jane gave us quite a challenge this week in her poetry challenge. Β This is my first attempt at a ghazal. You can read how to write one here. Or more here.

The prompt was the painting above, “The Dawn,” by John La Farge.




59 thoughts on “Dawn is Waking: A Ghazal

  1. You’ve done what I often want to doβ€”stick a preposition or whatever between the refrain and the rhyme word. Technically you shouldn’t, but I think it opens up more possibilities for making poetry so I’ll let it through πŸ™‚

  2. Okay, I’m back after reading about ghazal. I like your poem with ‘waking’ at the end of every “B” line better than the example that web site gives, probably because your lines seemed so natural to me, just highlighting the sense of dawn awakening. πŸ™‚
    I look forward to trying one.

  3. The sense of anticipation is beautiful here.
    I fudged the internal rhymes too…sometimes you have to bend the form. Ok that’s the visual artist speaking, but like you, I’m sticking with it! (K)

  4. I love your ghazal Merril. Each stanza moves and flows, creates images and fits with the whole…’dawn is waking’ is a nice way of linking with the image.

  5. I woke up before dawn today so my eyes could feast on the moon which pulls tides, aerating Earth’s waters and providing oxygen for plankton, the very foundation of the food chain. Just had to say something scientific since others are waxing so poetic here.

    You are gaining quite a following, Merril. And I must say I admire pre-Raphaelite art (Hope I’m right on “The Dawn” painting!)

    • You’re funny, Marian. πŸ™‚ Thanks.
      I looked up John La Farge, and he’s American, born of French parents. So he wasn’t one of the pre-Raphaelites. He was born a bit later, too, but perhaps he was influenced by their work. He was also stained glass artist.

  6. Oh my, Merril. This was mesmerizing and beautifully expressed. I liked particularly your bringing all the facets of morning which I also enjoy: animals (birds, cats, crabs. . .) and the sky (light, rosy)
    Then you brought in man and woman, one who writes. Splendid writing, under quite a unique and challenging pattern. Better you~ than I! ❀

  7. Pingback: Poetry challenge Ghazal: the entries – Jane Dougherty Writes

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