Sultana Morayma: the Last Queen of Al Andalus

by Shadab Zeest Hashmi At the end of the story, in its final pages, is a queen. Not the pious despot Isabella of Castille who is about to command the Inquisition, or the embittered, vengeful Sultana Aixa la Horra who is inciting war within the house of Nasrid, but the queen who is obscured from…

Expressing the Inexpressible: The Craft of the Ghazal

by Shadab Zeest Hashmi My first encounter with the ghazal had to have happened at home where my parents played ghazal LPs on their Phillips record player, along with Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Harry Belafonte and Edith Piaf. The ghazal entered my consciousness first as music, accessible only to the extent that Edith Piaf was accessible; through…

Narrative Clarity and Dramatic Tension in “Greed” by C.K. Williams

by Shadab Zeest Hashmi In a lineated poem, the line-breaks are used to produce verbal or sonic emphasis, in addition to creating a structure that is arranged such that it is easy to parse and comprehend the poem. When line-length varies, emphasis shifts and dramatic tension or narrative effect is produced. Generally speaking, in a…