The Ghazal Page for 2011

Welcome to the 2011 volume of The Ghazal Page. We expect a total of six issues this year: the four quarterly issues, published on the equinoxes and solstices, and two special issues based on challenges.

Submissions of ghazals or related prose (reviews, criticism, theory, etc) are welcome. Text-only format is much prefered.

Links to 2011 Issues



Bitter Orange

Trans., David Jalajel

Wake to your morning draught; let coffee’s dark wine
Linger in the air with the lute’s pure music.

Look closely at the bitter orange sliced on this plate
I present to you, bringing your cheek near to mine.

What wonder — there blaze between us
Embers that glow with the fire of Paradise.

— after Ibn Hamdees, 12th century Sicilian poet

David Jalajel has loosely translated the Arabic original, resulting more in an inspired variation.

Ibn Hamdees (1055 - 1133) was a Sicilian Arab poet. He was born in Noto, near Syracuse. He left Sicily in 1078/79, probably due to the encroachment of the Normans. He finally settled in Seville, where he enjoyed the patronage of the prince Al Mu`tamid, who was also a poet. After the prince's death, Ibn Hamdees moved from one Mediterranean country to another until his death in Majorca in 1133. His works include over 6,000 verses, many of them devoted to his lost Sicily.