I have been trying to scheme my way to the end of this month of writing. How am I going to write 11 more poems about testing, education, our youth and my world? A few days ago I brainstormed some ideas of how to play with form to help guide my writing. Today, I toyed with the form of a ghazal. The most genuine structure of a poem of this sort is grounded in disparate couplets connected by a refrain or word at the end of each couplet. Some words within the couplets should be rhymes or slant rhymes before the refrain. In this effort, the rhymes and slant rhymes correspond mostly to the refrain test scores. And though a true ghazal is unrelated and the couplets exist in their own meaning, my ghazal is connected thematically throughout. Our country’s Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey, composed an impressive ghazal in her collection Native Guard.
My poem is dedicated to Bill Gates who is fueling the capital behind education reform in our country. If you are on Twitter, I suggest searching the hashtag #TestHearingsNow for a primer on the broiling fervor against an education of tests and Mr. Gates.
So there ya go! Context, creativity and deviance. Enjoy the weekend.