PF: Unrepentant

This month Margaret posed a doozy of a challenge to our group, or as my grandfather would have said, “It was a real lulu!” Margaret suggested that this month we write ghazals (pronounced “guzzles”). Apparently, she’d been having a hankering to write one and thought she’d invite us all to come along for the ride. And what a ride it was! It definitely pushed me right out of my comfort zone–always a good, if not comfortable, thing!

I’d written what I called a quasi-ghazal once a year or so ago, and all I remembered was that the form was darned challenging. This time I was determined to get closer to fully adhering to it. I found a post on Tweetspeak that offered some guidance. It outlined step by step how to write a ghazal (click the link if you want more details) and also shared a mentor ghazal by Patricia Smith.

Hip-Hop Ghazal

Gotta love us brown girls, munching on fat, swinging blue hips,
decked out in shells and splashes, Lawdie, bringing them woo hips.

As the jukebox teases, watch my sistas throat the heartbreak,
inhaling bassline, cracking backbone and singing thru hips.

Like something boneless, we glide silent, seeping ‘tween floorboards,
wrapping around the hims, and ooh wee, clinging like glue hips.

(click the Tweetspeak link above to read the rest of this poem)

After reading this, I was more than a bit daunted. I couldn’t make up my mind what I even wanted to write about. I started and stopped. Started and stopped. I just couldn’t find my way. In the end, let’s just say it wasn’t a pretty process, but I persevered. I still don’t think I’ve hit 100% of the requirements, but I’m getting closer. Once it finally started to come together, it was kind of fun. Borderline brutal, but kind of fun, and definitely satisfying.


I confess, I enjoy a glass of wine at night.
Lips to glass. Upright to supine at night.

I prefer Cabernet to Merlot, seeking body
in spirits that linger with moon’s shine at night. 

Come, join me, drink to dreams deferred
and days gone by. Liquid anodyne at night.

Half-remembered words circle while I sleep —
a haunting or a visit more divine at night.

When shadows lengthen, intoxicated by starlight,
will you turn into my arms and be mine at night?

©Molly Hogan

Wine seems to be a theme for me this month. Not sure what’s up with that, but I’m going with it, so I’m also sharing a tetractys inspired by one of Kat Apel’s recent posts.

new school year
I quaff my red with no hesitation.

©Molly Hogan

Finally, I offer you this find from our local village store:

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Heidi Mordhorst at her blog, My Juicy Little Universe. She’s sharing her most-amazing ghazal there. You can visit the other Inklings at their blogs to check out some more ghazals.
Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
Mary Lee Hahn at A(nother) Year of Reading


37 thoughts on “PF: Unrepentant

  1. […] Lee Hahn @ A(nother) Year of ReadingMolly Hogan @ Nix the Comfort ZoneLinda Mitchell @ A Word EdgewiseHeidi Morhorst @ My Juicy Little UniverseMargaret Simon @ […]


  2. katswhiskers says:

    I cannot appreciate your red, white or fine wine, Molly – but I can appreciate your poetry wordplay (seeking body
    in spirits that linger with moon’s shine at night👏) and the clever connectedness of your themed post. Funny – from my experience, POETRY delicately draws those unplanned stories out – so it is doubly appropriate on your POET label.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lindabaie says:

    Well, you may have struggled, perhaps with a little ‘red’, but it turned into a special love poem to me, Molly. It’s lovely to read aloud!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. gailaldousmsncom says:

    Molly, congratulations on your Ghazal! I agree with Linda and Kat. Your Ghazal is a beautiful love poem. I especially love the lines “seeking body
    in spirits that linger with moon’s shine at night” and “When shadows lengthen, intoxicated by starlight.” Your grandfather is correct and I love his expression, “It was a real a lulu!” The Hip-Hop Ghazal is amazing and your Tweetspeak is helpful, but I find the tetractys more my “cup of tea” or should I say my glass of wine. What a “fitting” bottle of wine. Just love that: Lost Poet. Thank you for sharing and inspiring. Have a great school year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tim Gels says:

    “Borderline brutal, but kind of fun.” I’m not sure where I want to go with that line, so I’ll turn to your poem. The form looks challenging — no doubt about that! My second and third reading really gave me an appreciation for the beauty of the piece, as I tend to get wrapped up in the puzzle of the thing during the first reading. I love the piece in its entirety, but the final two stanzas are especially nice. Thank you for sharing it, and for the other poetic gems as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. maryleehahn says:

    You chose the PERFECT title! Nice. (And I’m definitely on the lookout for that wine!!)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. […] Heidi has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at my juicy little universe, and here are all the other Inklings’ ghazals:CatherineLindaMargaretMolly […]


  8. I don’t drink wine that often but I definitely am in the mood to do so now! Your poem is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Linda Mitchell says:

    Oh, that title is wonderful. I love it on many levels. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. […] CoreLinda Mitchell at A Word EdgewiseHeidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little UniverseMolly Hogan at Nix the Comfort ZoneMary Lee Hahn at A(nother) Year of […]


  11. margaretsmn says:

    I prefer a Cab as well. Love the ending couplet, especially “intoxicated by starlight”. Such a rough challenge. I’m sorry, not sorry because look at the wonderful new ghazals out in the world! I’ll raise a glass to this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      It was a tough challenge, but all the more satisfying for that. Like I said, it’s good to be pushed a bit. Perhaps someday we’ll be able to enjoy a glass of wine together in person–wouldn’t that be lovely!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Borderline brutal–heehee! They look really difficult–I think you did beautifully, esp that ending. Wowee!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well done, Molly! I’m not sure which aspects of the form you don’t think you met; I think you did a fine job with this challenging challenge. Raise a glass to your perseverance!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. bmagee10 says:

    Sip, sip, hooray, Molly! *prost* for poetry + Cabernet = partners in wine. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. haitiruth says:

    My! It must have been quiet a week! Ruth,

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I raise my glass (shiraz) to your persistence and the words you found Molly. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Thanks for your delicious ghazal Molly–I love this couplet, it stirs visions for me:
    “Half-remembered words circle while I sleep —
    a haunting or a visit more divine at night.”

    Have a glass for me, I can’t have it, but tasted it vicariously by your poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Elisabeth says:

    I am so impressed! I thought the villanelle was an intimidating form – but this? A virtual toast to you for this wonderful ghazal.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Molly, I’m amused by the contradiction between your pained birthing of this poem and the “liquid anodyne” it brings. It turned out deliciously, truly, and I agree with the Inklings that your hard-won title pulls a lot of weight, creates extra layers and possibilities–definitely submittable. On the hunt for a bottle of Lost Poet in my area!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. […] Group, the Inklings, including Margaret Simon, Catherine Flynn, Linda Mitchell, Heidi Mordhorst, Molly Hogan, and Mary Lee Hahn, challenged themselves to write ghazal’s for their monthly prompt. Well, […]


  21. I raise my wine glass and say, “Slainte mhath” (Gaelic for Good health). I have to find a bottle of Lost Poet. I prefer Cabernet as well and a good red blend.


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