Ghazal by Mimi Khalvati

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Khalvati uses a charming and seductive persona to readily demonstrate the feelings the speaker has for their beloved who is unattainable and beyond their reach and to also explore the different aspect of love such as love can be calm and contemplative as suggested by the ‘grass’ and ‘breeze’ . The relationship is first conveyed through the statement ‘if I am the grass and you the breeze, blow through me’ this is very sentimental and has a big emphasis on the power and beauty of nature contrasted with the easily changeable and equally powerful human emotion but it also establishes a very slow pace as to which the relationship is building. Also the underlying symbolism of the imagery being conveyed gives the reader a feeling of unease at the nature of power in this relationship. For example if you are a ‘breeze’ how powerful are you really from influence of the speaker I think this gives the impression that the love may not be genuine and the relationship maybe built on just the attractiveness of the speaker. Also ‘grass’ is very weak and I think this further emphasises how weak, manipulated and easily controlled the beloved is and that the beloved is presented as powerless to resist his or her feelings in the relationship whether they be true or not. Also ‘if’ makes the speaker sound wistful and full of desire for a relationship that is unfulfilling but beginning the couplet with ‘if’ creates a condition which is usually fulfilled in the second half.

Also the relationship is presented through Form. Ghazal contains at least ten shers each of them a single stanza but each developing a central argument for the speakers love and the shers also contains its own metaphor in which to express the speakers longing. The shers are also linked through a refrain which runs throughout the poem for example ‘woo me’, ‘cue me’ and ‘tattoo me’ which are all euphemisms for a romantic relationship and are seductive phrases that are targeted to the beloved from the speaker. This builds a powerful repetitive rhythm which lends itself to persuasion and suggests Khalvati’s first name, Mimi (me me). It is almost as if each refrain is a knocking at the door of the beloved’s heart and, with enough knocking, the door must surely open. In the last sher Khalvati signs her name ‘twice the me’ which is ghazal convention but she is not doing this exactly.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how khalvati uses a charming and seductive persona to demonstrate the speaker's feelings for their beloved who is unattainable and beyond their reach.
  • Analyzes how ghazal contains at least ten shers each of them a single stanza, each developing an argument for the speakers love.
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