Ghazal, by Mimi Khalvati

Ghazal by Mimi Khalvati

About Mami Khalvati

She was born in Tehran Iran in 1944, she's still alive and she was educated on the Isle of Wight and went on to study in Switzerland, at the University of Neuch√Ętel and then in London at the drama centers on the school of the African and Oriental studies.


If I am the grass and you the breeze, blow through me.
If I am the rose and you the bird, then woo me.
If you are the rhyme and I the refrain, don’t hang
on my lips, come and I’ll come too when you cue me.
If yours is the iron fist in the velvet glove
when the arrow flies, the heart is pierced, tattoo me.
If mine is the venomous tongue, the serpent’s tail,
charmer, use your charm, weave a spell and subdue me.
If I am the laurel leaf in your crown, you are
the arms around my bark, arms that never knew me.
Oh would that I were bark! So old and still in leaf.
And you, dropping in my shade, dew to bedew me!
What shape should I take to marry your own, have you
– hawk to my shadow, moth to my flame – pursue me?
If I rise in the east as you die in the west,
die for my sake, my love, every night renew me.
If, when it ends, we are just good friends, be my Friend,
muse, lover and guide, Shamsuddin to my Rumi.
Be heaven and earth to me and I’ll be twice the me
I am, if only half the world you are to me.
The poem Ghazal is about love. Khalvati is chasing her lover in the poem and she wants to be an object to her lover's love. The lovers trying out different scenarios on her beloved.



A gazelle poem is composed of five or more rhyming couplets, called shers, and a refrain. All couplets and each line of the couplet must share the same metre (a rhyming pattern of stressed and unstressed beats). The second line of each sher usually ends with a refrain of one or a couple of words, know as radif. In the first couplet, which introduces both the theme of the poem and the rhyme scheme, both lines end in rhye and refrain so that the ghazal's rhyme scheme is explicit: AA BA CA

Analysis of the Poem "Ghazal"

The word if she's trying out different scenarios with her lover and thinking about all the different possibilities and it's all it's clear she's very much in love with them. The Anaphora the repeated if suggests that the narrator is continuously thinking about the lover, he always on her mind. In the first stanza she's using natural gentle metaphors and imagery to suggest how place they are and using natural energy evokes a sense of permanence and timelessness because the things that she's comparing her love to have been around forever and are likely to be around forever and therefore they suggest that there's something timeless about her love. The structure of the poem is in couplets and this can suggest the pairing of the lovers. Enjambments from the word "hang" don't hang on my lips creates caesura which is a slight pause on the word hang so she's always waiting for the cue from the next line as she talks about and the cue there. This is a very sensitive poem it’s possible to identify examples of sexual references. The word if suggests the sense of uncertainty to the relationship but also a sense of possibility and so it's really significant that that word is repeated as many times as it is.

When she talks about the iron fist in the velvet glove she wants it to be gentle and firm with her and there's a clear juxtaposition a clear contrast between iron and velvet to create that excitement. And the arrow flying through the heart that's a traditional image of the heart with an arrow through it. Keep its eye and tattoo suggesting a permanent mark because if the love is again timeless and permanent. The calming metaphors at the beginning of the grass and the blues also a place where something more sever and potentially dangerous which could suggest something about loveless she maybe isn't looking at this one particular idealistic and point of view and is aware that love isn't always perfect. The metaphor weaving a spell suggests that she feels entranced by her lover.(weave a spell and subdue me)

  1. ALSO READ:- Summary of On a Drop of Dew by Andrew Marvell

A Wreath of laurel leaves symbolizes victory and it's a shared which you learned there together. The laurel leaf in the crown so they need each other to hand the victory. She raises him to higher status by referring to him as having a crown so she treats as if he’s royalty or raises his faithless bark arms. She compares herself to a leaf on a tree and would be last part of the Pharaoh's arms that never knew me was an implied separation there which maybe brings a little dimension to the poem and we can think about why she's done that it is this someone that she is actually in love with and he reciprocate some love or is it, someone, she loves but the love is unrequited its class and that consuming the emotions were a would the time a bar and the exclamation mark as while showing her emotion coming through. There's the natural imagery and the next stanza that have been together but with an interesting growth dropping in my shades and that could suggest a power imbalance in the relationship so before in the previous stanza she's kind of raised him to a higher status but if it's her shades that she's referring to now could that suggest that perhaps the power imbalance has been reversed.

Sums up the poem is for what sheet would i take what would she change and knows to be with him and marry in this sense it doesn't necessarily need to mean the ceremony of marriage but just matching say so marry we need to kind of match his own shape. And having some natural images of inevitability and hunting a hawk will always have a shadow and it's hunting and a moth to the flame this is an image of something that is going to happen. Pursue me it's suggesting that she wants him to the active one in the relationship and doesn't want to do all of the work. And she also then in the next stanza puts herself in this of the moon and here's the Sun is he, therefore, brighter and more important? are they in fact destined to be apart I'm kind of cut one rise and as the others die. The Commas separating the cause, my love suggests that she's addressing him in there in a tender manner and she does really and feel genuinely one of them.

The word when suggests that the relationship will end and that's quite interesting and it's something that is not usually expressed in love poetry.  It isn't seen as an if it suggests it as a when so it does suggest there'll be an end to this relationship and it’s unconventional for love poetry to talk about this and the Sham students my really really mentioned in the little part at the start about what's the poem about very important with his finger and palate and his close friend shams disappeared who is inspired to a mystical poetry.  The uncertainty of the earth which has been present in most the stanzas threat is now a place within parrots at the command would be heaven and earth to me and this is a more definite request for what she wants from the relationship and this is where the traditional form of the ghazal has the name of the Pope in the final stanza if it's twice for me it's me and that's where she's cleverly put her name into this ghazal fairy half the world you are to me she's emphasizing his importance to her.
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