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by Gowri Bhargav


Theme : Write a poem inspired by Saint Kabir’s doha.



                              Words heal

                               Words seal


                            Words of anger

                            With pain linger

                           Turn bonds bitter


                    When egos rise inflated

                    Wounding words of hatred

                   In memories dwell unabated

                    And ruin relationships sacred


                 When words chosen are sweet

                With compassion when eyes meet

             In the strenuous journey bittersweet

                  Obstacles several we shall beat

                 Our content life’d seem complete


𝙋𝙤𝙚𝙩𝙧𝙮 𝙎𝙩𝙮𝙡𝙚 : 𝙕𝙞𝙜𝙜𝙪𝙧𝙖𝙩

The Ziggurat is a 14-line poem of 4 stanzas. Like the hay(na)ku, it is isoverbal, meaning its lines’ lengths are measured by the number of words instead of syllables or meter.

The first stanza is two lines of two words a piece, the second is 3 lines of 3 words apiece, the third is 4 lines of 4 words apiece, and the fourth and final is 5 lines of 5 words apiece. Each stanza uses a different monorhyme, thus the rhyme scheme can be expressed as aa bbb cccc dddd. Also another rule is the title must always consist of just one word.

The form derives it name from its shape when centered on a page, which somewhat resembles a ziggurat, the terraced step pyramid found in ancient Mesopotamia.

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