“Oath” – Ghazal



I will quit you for sure, tomorrow.
(It’s the day you’re with her–tomorrow.)

I will bind up lips, breasts; hold onto
my breath, with no kind of tremor, tomorrow.

My scuffed bag will be packed, sag on my back
with the stuff dreams make heavier, tomorrow.

I won’t let noon pass by, shadows longing
to tie, knot me to another tomorrow.

You’ll sneak into night house, not much of
a mouse, so sure of my cat’s purr, tomorrow;

slip into our bed whose palely smoothed head
won’t burn with tears’ fever, tomorrow.

I swear it, I say, as I did yesterday,
that all caring is over, tomorrow.

The above is a rather odd “Ghazal Sonnet,” posted for dVerse Poets Pub “Form For All,” hosted by Samuel Peralta.  Sam explains Ghazals very well–so check out his article.  The form has a repeated word, and a rhyming sequence, but I’ve added a  whole bunch of non-required rhymes because the meter just felt wrong to me.   

Oh yes–and you are supposed to put your name somewhere in the last line.  My name, for those who don’t know it, is Karin.  Caring? 

All I can say is that I do not think I lived in Persia in another life. 

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24 Comments on ““Oath” – Ghazal”

  1. Jamie Dedes Says:

    … and Karen (from the old Chorine/singer) sings her poems because she cares … okay, they might have fallen flat … don’t blame a girl for trying.

    Enjoyed your post/poem.

  2. brian miller Says:

    oh my…quite the tale in your ghazal…and will tomorrow come any easier than now for her? but then again can she go on living with a cheat for a lover? nicely done to form k

  3. marousia Says:

    a poignant tale – I think the form suits it 🙂

  4. Karin, I beg to disagree with you: This is a perfect modern ghazal. Structurally it’s found an excellent balance with the classic form, so close to the fulcrum that the deviation is negligible. It’s full of subtlety, and sarcasm, and irony, and images “so sure of my cat’s purr” that ring with inventiveness – down to the play on your own name. Bravo!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha! Sam, well thanks much. You know me – if I’m going to do a form, I try to really do it – stick to it, if I can. And I appreciate your kindness. I found the meter very difficult as I am so used to end rhymes, that I wanted the line lengths to be different so that the meter would work with that internal rhyme like an end rhyme. That’s why I added so many other rhymes – I think I was truly making each couplet a bit of a quatrain. You managed that part very smoothly. At any rate, it’s all interesting. Thanks again. k.

  5. I liked that you put caring for Karin in the last line and like the rhyming ~ so good to see that Sam says it’s ‘the perfect modern ghazal’ ~ well done k.

  6. nicely done Karin. Really like the couplets in here, especially the mouse/cat’s purr one. Very creative wordplay with your name. Enjoyed the read, thanks.

  7. Sabio Lantz Says:

    My first thought on seeing this pic was that it was a macro shot of a tooth’s pure white enamel crown. Which is appropriate because I had to read this a few time to chew it over.

    As you know, I am a bit slow to catch meaning if there is any subtlety.
    First read I wonder: “Is she scolding an unfaithful lover”, “Is she the unfaithful lover”?

    Second read:
    The first two shers seem to say, “I discovered you, so now I am frigid”.
    The next two that you are leaving. Then then next two seem to say, the faithless lover will return to an empty bed.

    Yes, I think I am right. A bitter Ghazal. No? [ooops, it is OK to guess on a poetry blog, right?] 😉

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Hi Sabio – Ha – about the pic – it is not a great pic, but just something I made quickly to go with the poem.

      I think you may be overthinking the poem a bit. I am not sure frigidity is involved! I suppose one could say it’s bitter ghazal – about someone disappointed in love–it’s the husband who’s unfaithful – who keeps meaning to leave. And then in the end, it’s not clear if she really is going to leave, or if she simply says that she will – always putting it off. I didn’t actually mean for a very complex development from stanza to stanza – just trying to get the form to work more or less. She talks of leaving, she imagines herself leaving, she imagines him coming back not to find her at home, and then she tries to reinforce that she really will do it, but one gets the sense I guess, that she tells herself this stuff a lot. It is a bit sentimental, I’m afraid. k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Sabio – I don’t know if I made it clearer. I added an “I” in the fourth stanza to clarify who was speaking, and put a semi-colon at the end of the next to clarify that the slips into bed referred to husband. k.

  8. Mary Says:

    Ah, I love how you played with the word ‘tomorrow.’ Excellent to form, I think, and also true of so much of human behavior, when so many plan for the ‘tomorrow’ that never really comes! Despite the sadness, knowledge, tears, she waits for……..tomorrow.

  9. wolfsrosebud Says:

    did like the mouse and cat line

  10. kkkkaty Says:

    Tomorrow (present, past, future) is a great theme for this form…..procrastinating …enhancing the very common other theme of being in a bad relationship.//

  11. Tony Says:

    This is a beautiful, complex and tragic poem, full of the yearning that the ghazal form is often used for. There is the bitterness about the way he has treated her, the sadness about it, the irony, but also the yearning for something better. The question is, will tomorrow bring it?

  12. Blue Flute Says:

    Powerful use of the form–I like it. Really works with your theme and the use of “tomorrow.”

  13. janehewey Says:

    It must be the amazing marshmallow pillow that keeps this character around. I enjoy your rhythm and wit. “my scuffed bag will be packed, sag on my back..” wonderful. I get the feeling she’s been at this crossroads for many years. nice work with this form, k.

  14. lucychili Says:

    ah well told. captures the feeling precisely. ghazal really suits your poem. feels natural..

  15. Luke Prater Says:

    Well we’d pronounce ‘caring’ quite differently, very unlike ‘Karin’, but I can also hear how an American would say it, and it’s cleverly worked in… (ps I don’t think your Ghazal is so bad, eh….!) xx

  16. vbholmes Says:

    “My scuffed bag will be packed, sag on my back
    with the stuff dreams make heavier, tomorrow.” Right on. Wonderful take on the prompt.

  17. I think it’s a very successful ghazal, and tells an intriguing story. I thought that by the end it was clear she keeps making these promises to herself, but is still there next time.

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