Friday, August 12, 2011


what song  trembles within your wine-stained lips
what knowing rests in the stillness of your eyes

what secrets lie unspoken in the warmth of your hand
what longing shies into the depths of your eyes

what music sleeps in the swaying of your hips
what promises hide in the quiet of your eyes

what fragrance floats to me from your open tresses
what oh what do they mean this dark of your eyes

© 2011 Padmavani Karkera

I wrote this for FormForAll: Ghazal at hosted by John Alwyine-Mosley. The challenge this time is to write to the poetic form of the Ghazal. I love Ghazals and find them beyond beautiful. The picture here is of actress Meena Kumari. I couldn't think anybody more suited to be the heroine of this Ghazal which is most definitely ishq-e-majazi :)


  1. oh so much to be seen in those eyes...very nice..i dont know the form enough to crit but it seems to flow nice...and has substance...

  2. Quite beautiful. Your verb usage is so particular and poetic. It adds layers and luxury to your couplets. Clearly you have an ear for the flow and sound of the form which is obvious here. Thank you for writing and linking. Your work has also instructed me. Much gratitude. Gay

  3. For me, this is just beautiful and definitely capture the theme of longing which is important to the form. Good one!

  4. Hey

    a Beautiful picture,
    a Beautiful poetry

    exquisite. Very touching and heart achingly

  5. Beautiful word imagery to match your photo. Loved the flow of your work. I really enjoyed it.

  6. I agree... it flows well and lovely images.

    laurie kolp

  7. Lovely. I've never heard of this form of poetry, but it is very gentle and soft. Your piece fits perfectly with the picture (something I find very important). Well done friend!

  8. Thank you all so much! Appreciate your time and feedback :)

  9. This is lovely, your words match the beauty of the picture.

  10. oh my - i hear that song trembling from wine-stained lips...padmavani this was mesmerizingly

  11. A great read.
    Amazing just what our eyes say about us.

  12. i read it out loud and it sounded like music to my ours...

    lovely ghazal share ~

  13. Hi, my feedback is based on these five factors starting from a traditional perspective but also looking at modern developments. I draw on Agha Shahid Al's, chapter from An Exaltation of forms (Ed Finch and Varnes).

    1) Association
    One of the key factors of the form - traditional or modern is that the couplets need to be based as it were on variations on a theme. And stand alone as the order should not matter. This you have done well with sensuality.

    2) Theme
    This is clearly about longing so fits with the traditional form.

    3) Couplets
    You have only done four when the guide is at least five, But you have with no enjambment. And you have not fitted narrator/writer in the last couplet, which as this feels a more traditional form you could do.

    4) Rhyme and refrain
    In the classical tradition, the opening couplet would set the refrain as the same in the end lines as well as establish the internal rhyme. Then in the rest of the couplets the refrain and rhyme would be on the second line. You have the refrain but no internal rhyme as I can see.

    5) Metre
    I don't think you have gone for a regular meter or beat count but it really works as a performance when read out loud.

    In short, it falls well within the range of classical Ghazals even without the internal rhyme but you need more couplets

  14. I say you need more couplets just because I want to read more, Padmavani. This is very modern feeling in some ways, and very ancient as well. I agree, though I'm unfamiliar with the woman pictured, she seems a perfect illustration, sensual and solid, yet mystical and insubstantial--contrasts of known and unknown, as in your couplets all every effective and musical.

  15. Padmavani... you must have done this before! Seemingly effortless and gracious.. a gorgeous ghazal.

  16. You're a very gifted writer and I found your words quite beautiful!! Look forward to future posts:)

  17. Oh.. beautiful!! Infact, it has such a smoky charm to it, just like Meenakumari's eyes here... really lovely!

    I read YOUR poem via Facebook, and was totally inspired... Thank you for introducing me to this form, Padma.. and for this lovely piece of poetry!

  18. Gorgeous, imbued with grace and intrigue, thank you!

  19. Hello.
    Meena Kumari was indeed the queen of melancholic roles. I don't think I've ever seen her not cry in any of her roles. She actually suffered from depression in real life.

    I know of Ghazals, but not the specifics of the form.

    The eyes are the keys to the soul. You captured that here. This is top notch melancholy!

    Nicely done!

  20. Beautiful flow with the form, it reads as a very tenderly worked piece. ~ Rose

  21. Absolutely beautiful, Padmavani. You are truly at home in this form, handling it with tenderness and grace.


  22. A plea to the Beloved. Beautiful. It lulls me into a state of melancholy and near surrender.

  23. I love Ghazals too - they do something to you. My favorite ghazal singer is Jagjit Singh. Who is yours? I love what you did with the English version - one really must have talent to write like that. Thank you for sharing Padmavini!

  24. I love love Ghazals too.. I never did, till I met hubby dear.. He is mental about Ghazals.. and then they grow on you!! they really do!!

    I also totally love Meena Kumari.. Yes.. the words perfectly fit in for her.. She was a stunning actress.. and her songs were gorgeous!!

  25. I didn't try this form, but I like yours in many ways


I appreciate hearing from you. Please let it be constructive. :) Thank you for your time.