Saturday, December 29, 2007
Guzzle your ghazals
I just came back from dinner at a Peruvian restaurant with five of my students; they wanted to have some fun over the Xmas break, and invited me out; I was happy to join them. We got stuffed on seafood and plied ourselves with sangria, and had plenty of laughs. The same five are captured in the above photograph taken at a school Xmas party about ten days ago (I have more than 20 on my class list: this is a small "core group" that hangs out together). They are, across the top, Gabriel from Columbia, Dary from Cambodia, Choun Ming from China via Paris (he actually grew up in France), and across the bottom, yours truly, and Svilen and Alexandra from Bulgaria. Lovely people, all of them.
Today I spent much of the day making three submissions (assertions?) to various reviews -- an occasion to look over the poems, fine tune with changes and deletions (one good reason to send things out: revisit your own work, and by implication, your life). A submission to CV2's upcoming Jilted Issue took me on a trip through time: I revisited a very lonely poem from almost two decades ago (it's a good one); the three more recent ones are a good measure of where I've come. A poignant experience, going through those: I'm sure CV2 is going to get a crop of heartfelt poems.
On Xmas day, I put up the post below. An exploration of ghazals, it's a kind of implicit Good Cheer. So I didn't bother with the usual huzzahs.
I remember I was distinctly disappointed when I learned how "ghazal" is pronounced in official Arabic: it is not a variation of gazelle, but rather more like "ghuzzle" -- perhaps appropriate for a poem form traditionally centred on drinking and love.
Right now, though, I think I'll make the implicit explicit: Season's greetings, everyone!