As I said before, currently I'm surveying poetic forms, trying them on for size, and using the strictures to both learn to have more rhythm and as a fun challenge/puzzle.
While browsing the Original Content Poetry subreddit, I came across an intriguing arabic form called Ghazal:
- It's organized in couplets; there can be enjambment between the first and second lines, though usually there's a pause, but there cannot be enjambment between one couplet and the next: they should be considered independent units, almost as if each couplet was its own poem, part of a collection dealing with a theme and only having in common a refrain (this rule is broken all the time, of course, but it's an interesting challenge to at least make each couplet self-contained).
- It doesn't have to rhyme, but every couplet ends with the same refrain: it can be a single word or a short phrase.
- There can be at least five couplets, and there's really no maximum.
- The last couplet has to either mention the author/narrator/main character by name, or imply it with a play on words (I read a ghazal where the author, called Beatrice, talked about a bee in that last couplet).
- There's no set meter, but usually all lines in the Ghazal are of the same syllabic length. People tend to opt for longer lines here, longer than the usual pentameter.
Although I hadn't quite seen Ghazals in the wild before, there's a few communities where they're still cultivated, for example, The Ghazal Page, which publishes collections of ghazals periodically.
Apart from this particular Ghazal, I also wrote one in spanish that I'll share eventually; the repetition creates an eerie hymn-like effect, and I found it excellent to convey concepts that haunt and arise in many guises.
And after that potentially too academic preamble, the poem itself: Paralysis