Contemporary Ghazals: An Anthology R.W. Watkins


Published: 2014

56 pages


Contemporary Ghazals: An Anthology  by  R.W. Watkins

Contemporary Ghazals: An Anthology by R.W. Watkins
2014 | | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 56 pages | ISBN: | 4.55 Mb

From the pages of his ‘indie’ literary magazine comes editor R. W. Watkins’s Contemporary Ghazals: An Anthology. This volume collects the best poems from the rarely published yet groundbreaking journal dedicated to the classic Arabic and Persian form that lends it its title.This book also reflects the development of the English-language ghazal in general since the turn of the 21st century, for its pages are populated almost exclusively by regular practitioners of the form in English. As Watkins points out in the introduction, the majority of regular practitioners have been published at some time or another in an issue of Contemporary Ghazals.

This is what distinguishes this collection from the first English-language ghazals anthology, Agha Shahid Ali’s Ravishing DisUnities (2000), which was comprised largely of then-novices and ‘name poets’ who dabbled.Thus one shall find in this anthology the ghazals of such prominent poets as I.

H. Rizvi of India and the late Kashmiri-American Agha Shahid Ali. Alongside their work can be found that of such longtime U.S. practitioners as William Dennis, Denver Butson, Steffen Horstmann and Barbara Little. Also to be found is the work of relative newcomers like Vivek Sharma and Nicola Masciandaro, who have established themselves as ‘contenders’ in just a short while. As well, Canadian editor Watkins himself is represented by some of the more experimental ghazals in the anthology.

The result is a collection that can most definitely stand as the form’s canon in English.Absences Assume ShadowsSteffen HorstmannAbsences assume shadows that graze in the outer dark.Faces float in mists, a zephyr sways in the outer dark.Hypnotic rain falls in spirals, pavements thrumAs you mull in a daze in the outer dark.Crickets tick to sparks flaring in grasses, dust waversWith the crackling of a blaze in the outer dark.Waves splash stones off the jetty, a palm tree dancesWith its shadow as it sways in the outer dark.Through latticed smoke phantasms shimmerLike an auroral blaze in the outer dark.Dense ivy sprawls over desiccated hedgerowsThat once formed a maze in the outer dark.In a pond’s mist a geisha’s ghost bows, you leanTo hear what her whisper conveys in the outer dark.On the temple grounds breezes chant koansAs a bodhisattva prays in the outer dark.Wraiths formed of smoke are lit by sparksA roiling pyre sprays in the outer dark.The stone tombs of ascetics shelter windsThat rave of forays in the outer dark.

Enter the sum

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