In these poems, the poets use a range of techniques to present feelings and emotion from the point of the speaker. Ghazal is in the style of a traditional Persian love poem, which puts forward powerful imagery and metaphors, in an attempt to summarise the emotion of love, while In Paris With You is a playful attempt to woo a previous lover in a more informal, colloquial way. Ghazal, as mentioned before, is written like a love poem. However, one may consider it an example of role reversal- unusually; it is written from the point of view of a woman, not a man.
Although it is not a sonnet, the form of poem is a Ghazal- this is a type of song, of mystical love poetry: we can thus compare it to a sonnet in the way that love is explored as a theme. It is structured in rhyming couplets- these can be described like poems themselves, as they capture the speaker’s strong feeling of attachment. These also contain refrain words, which help to drive in the points being made, such as “me”, which forms part of the weak rhyme scheme.
The love in the poem can be seen in the first stanza- “If I am the grass and you the breeze, blow through me/ If I am the rose and you the bird, then woo me”. These examples of natural imagery mean we can see how the idea of the speaker and the person they address being together is beneficial- in fact, drawing from the imagery, we could go further and say that the idea is a natural (good) thing. Another emotion present is longing. This is the feeling of desperation to be with the other person talked to.
Focusing on the language used, Ghazal makes extensive use of metaphors to explore the relationship between the speaker and the person they feel love for. Many of the metaphors are in the form of pairs of items or objects that complement each other, reflecting the way in which the speaker sees the relationship. For example, “what shape should I take to marry your own, have you- hawk to my shadow, moth to my flame – pursue me? ” showcases the idea that the speaker is willing to transform to suit the other, in “…what shape…”. This could also be a cue to the reader that the writer is perhaps lacking in some confidence..
Another example is “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”: using enjambment to keep the poem flowing like a song. Also, the two sides of a relationship are likened to being like the “rhyme” and “refrain”, which suggests a sense of the two people being one unit together. This refrain could be the word “me”: because it appears so frequently in comparison, it could be a representation of the lover showing inferiority to the one she loves, and desperation. In Paris with You is a poem with a theme of longing also.
The speaker is this time a man recounting a relationship he had moved on from. Perhaps this could have been partly due to a certain partiality to drinking alcohol, which we are told about in “And I get tearful/when I’ve had a drink or two”. “I’m on the rebound” shows that it must have been rather long-term, if he is describing a recovery from it. Unlike Ghazal, which is less clear about the outcome, In Paris with You suggests that the relationship is a reality. The poem, unlike Ghazal, is made up of two stanzas of about 5 lines, which deal with the run-up to the situation, and then a longer one in the middle,.
It could be argued that this represents a pause for thought, as then the mood, or tone, of the poem changes, as in the next two stanzas, the speaker focuses on enjoying the present, such as “that crack across the ceiling/ and the hotel walls are peeling/ and I’m in Paris with you”, which shows that the speaker does not care for the surroundings when he is with the woman he loves. Indeed, this could be described as the summary of the poem, or meaning- us being together is far more important than being in traditional romantic and beautiful locations, such as the Notre Dame (more beautiful than romantic), which he promptly tells to “sod off”.
In terms of language, the opening is not like Ghazal’s in the respect that it starts with the negative “but”, to discourage the person he is talking to from “talk(ing) to me of love”. This is an opportunity to recognise the colloquial nature of the poem, such as the use of the phrases “an earful”, and “sod off to sodding Notre-Dame”. This contrasts heavily with the more formal, overwritten tone present in Ghazal. We can also see this as the speaker makes words to carry on his rhyme scheme, such as “wounded/ marooned”, which brings a playful nature.
Similarly, the final stanza draws heavily on the phrase “in Paris with you”, to show the importance of being with the person he wants to be with, and then “am I embarrassing you? ” is used to add to the teasing nature of the tone. Looking to the tone, which we have just looked at, I believe that another emotion brought forward is playfulness, in the way that more orthodox methods of seducing people are turned down in favour of just being with each other, albeit in a way that uses references to “embarrassing” ideas about romance, and love poems.
In conclusion, the two poems Ghazal and In Paris with You deal with the same topics of love and longing, using techniques such as imagery, contrast, and metaphor achieve these pictures, but the latter feels more like a pastiche to the first in the way that its colloquial and abrupt humorous tone is a juxtaposition to the comparatively formal of the first.