From Bones in Their Wings a set of ghazals by Lorna Crozier.
My Tai Chi master has Parkinson’s,
a slight shudder in the stillest pose.
This is the first couplet or sher in the second ghazal in the collection. It provides for my imagination a capsule commentary on the whole genre. Each couplet is a pose and each pose trembles with potential.
Crozier provides some very sensitive and insightful notes on the ghazal genre in English in an afterward. Of the many remarks, I choose to relay these:
The enforced economy of two stand-alone lines, rather than the fluid run-on of four or six spilling over the spaces between stanzas, puts tremendous pressure on the syntax, diction, and images. A different kind of poetry animal comes into being, mammalian like the other but as similar as a horse is to a langur.
She is alive to the possibilities of syntax even in such a small space and the reader is well rewarded for paying attention to punctuation. Here a yoking comma. Elsewhere in the same sequence the two lines of the sher end in periods and further on the one line runs without punctuation mark to conclude in the next end stopped. And there is punctuation internal to a line. All this in six couplets of one ghazal, all a shudder with stillness.
And so for day 1095