i wait at a lost November’s altar…

i wait at a lost November’s altar
i’ve stood long by your remembered altar.

the mist has enveloped your revered limbs
o, my burnt god, at your embers’ altar.

i’ve sought grace from you, my offender, — kiss
and bless my blood on the weather’s altar.

the snow-peaked red of my surrender made —
o, my hemlock-love, at gender’s altar.

i am not a man, nor nature’s rendered spring,
unworthy of your sight’s treasured altar.

the sweet incense hangs in a slender hope,
o, my sinned friend, at forever’s altar.

accept my sacrifice, my splendor’s death,
i, Priceless, will wait at winter’s altar.


© Anmol Arora 2018

For “All in November’s soaking mist” at With Real Toads — a try at an English Ghazal, with seven couplets and ten-syllable lines, and radeef, kafiya, matla, maktaa, et al. No constant metrical foot though. For the takhallus, I used the English meaning of my name. To be edited further.
Also linking it up with OLN #232 at dVerse
Image source (Sacrifice of the Rose by Keith Carrington)

For a treat, enjoy Begum Akhtar’s magical rendition of Faiz’s “Aaye Kuchh Abr Kuchh Sharaab Aaye”

21 thoughts on “i wait at a lost November’s altar…

  1. sanaarizvi says:

    My goodness this is exquisitely drawn 😍 I admire the subtle and elegant rhyming throughout the ghazal and am in awe of the beauty of the poem as a whole. Especially love; “I’ve sought grace from you my offender/ kiss and bless my blood on the weather’s altar.” Thank you so much for writing to the prompt, Anmol ❤️

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  2. An intricate form, Anmol, which you have mastered with ease. I love the different types of altar and am amazed at how you could think of so many! I especially love:
    ‘the snow-peaked red of my surrender made —
    o, my hemlock-love, at gender’s altar’
    and
    ‘the sweet incense hangs in a slender hope,
    o, my sinned friend, at forever’s altar’.#

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  3. very clever and I love the scene you have created with the incense clouds giving rise to images in countless form. Your altar in Ghazal repetition underscores the sacrifices and the holiness which is quite literally as your name suggests Priceless
    p.s. I listened to Begum Akhtar’s singing and loved the blend of voice and instruments – afterwards I searched for a translation of the song and wondered how well this matches
    https://asanyfuleknow.blogspot.com/2012/06/faiz-ahmed-faizs-aaye-kuch-abr-kuch.html

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glenn Buttkus says:

    You mastered the form very well, and your poem is strong. I felt that the same message in free verse form would strengthen it, and create more empathy. All these “altars” put me in mind of an old Playboy cartoon–two guys standing in front of an altar with the word NOTHING upon it. caption: “Damn, are we worshipping nothing again?”

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  5. Rob Kistner says:

    This is excellent HA, and well crafted to toward the goal – and much said, i enjoy it… 😉

    …rob from Image & Verse
    Lost in Azure

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  6. HA, such a lovely though dark and haunting ghazal with the word ending of altar. The last couplet was made special with your English name:

    accept my sacrifice, my splendor’s death,
    i, Priceless, will wait at winter’s altar.

    Like

  7. I really like the rhythm… the motion it evokes. As I read the poem, I feel like I should bowing and moving in a sort of ceremonial dance, chanting the words as I do it, limbs and voice and mind going from autumn to winter, always changing, losing and gaining, growing…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. therisa says:

    This is the first time that I have seen or read a ghazal poem. It looks difficult to write and master this poetic form, but you do so, Anmol with grace and ease. Not sure, I could do so, if I tried to write a Ghazal poem.

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  9. The ritual and the binding, love yes. I am trying to understand “hemlock love” bringing to mind the star-crossed lovers? But this sounds too personal to be a poem about a poem. I riveted in on gender’s altar, I continue to cry buckets at the foot of that sanctum. I wish I would’ve had the contextual background to have worshiped there rather than just bleed. Oh my friend, you paint with such depth of feeling. Reads like a prayer.

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  10. Oh, exquisite cry of love and pain! I love the ghazal form, and when I attempt it I too depart from the strictly traditional, as I find that very difficult in English (and English is all I have) – or maybe just difficult altogether. But it is a most intriguing form and I keep giving it an occasional try. I think you have done it splendidly. This is such a beautiful, romantic, heart-rending poem! Loved the music too.

    Liked by 1 person

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