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. 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.
A beautiful poem in a beautiful form, one which I was happy to learn more about. Thank you.
Thank you so much!
Thank you, Derrick!
You’ve done what I often want to do—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 🙂
I think some of the examples I looked at did that. They had a refrain phrase, rather than a word, and then put the rhyme word before it. 🙂 I just couldn’t make it work otherwise.
I like it like that. It’s the way language works. Why fight it when it adds to the poem?
Yes, exactly. 🙂
But I guess I did stick in extra prepositions and adverbs. I’m going with it anyway. 🙂
Rules are there to be broken. Bent anyway 🙂
I’m reading this as dawn is waking. A wordsmith admiring the poetry of another wordsmith. Absolutely evocative. Now, I’m off to learn what a ghazal is!
Thanks so much, Pam!
I’m not sure if I did it absolutely correctly, but I was happy with the result. 🙂
As you should be. This poem will stay with me all day. LOVELY.
Wow! Thank you! 🙂
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. 🙂
I look forward to trying one.
I thought it was a difficult form to write. I kept looking at different examples. It’s hard to get the rhyming word in before the repeated refrain. Jane pointed out that I added extra prepositions and such, but oh well. 🙂
Oh well is write, I mean right! I teach creative writing – we are MEANT to be creative in our interpretations of structure.
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)
Thanks, Kerfe. 🙂
Well done, Merrill! Loved some of that imagery and almost got my camera out!
Thanks, Rowena. I’m glad you felt inspired. 🙂
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.
Thank you very much, Janice!
lovely rhythm to your ghazal – I’m going to try this out sometime soon too!
Thank you so much, Freya!
It was difficult to write, so I’m pleased you like it.
Well done. Ghazal is a tough form.
Thank you, Michael!
I see the last couplet as you, the observer, having brought this to the eyes of the readers.
I think that’s what I intended–plus a way of working my name in. 🙂
Ad so subtly, too.
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. 🙂 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.
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! ❤
Thank you so much, Robin!
I was pleased with this one, too.
It is a difficult form, but the challenge was also fun.
You are so very welcome! The challenge was so confusing and I bow to your ability to follow it! 🙂
A precious creative piece, as dawn is waking!
i also see that you’ve dropped by for a read,
Thank you very much, Chris! I’m glad you enjoyed the poem.
I’d never heard of the ghazal form before, but I liked the rhythm of it. I’m a bit worried about those crabs, though. I hope they make it. 🙂
I don’t know about the crabs–those gulls move quickly! 🙂
They are fast! 🙂
WoW! you nailed it. Beautiful.
Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
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Thank you very much!
Brilliant! You got it all the internal rhyme, the refrain. I am in awe! 🙂
Wow! Thank you so much, Kat!
As Jane pointed out, I did add some words between the internal rhyme and the repeated refrain, but I liked it anyway. 🙂
I thought it flowed very nicely! 🙂
I came back! This time I appreciated the subtle internal rhyme as well as the images 🙂
Wow–thank you for very much, Janice! 🙂
Lovely poem with vivid image of dawn breaking.
Thank you very much! 🙂