Day NINETEEN: a LANDAY — “I call. You’re stone. One day you’ll look and find I’m gone”

Day NINETEEN : NaPoWriMo 2015

And for today’s prompt (optional, as always!), I’d like to challenge you to write landay. The  lines in the heading bar are by a young Pashtun girl called Muskan, who penned these lines anonymously. 

Landays are 22-syllable couplets, generally rhyming. The first line has 9 syllables, the second line has 13 syllables, the lines in ending in sounds of na or ma in the original. The form comes from Afghanistan, where women often use it in verses that range from the sly and humorous to the deeply sardonic and melancholy. 

Check out this long investigative article on landays for a fascinating look into a form of poetry often composed in secret, and rarely written down. You could try to write a single landay – a hard-hitting couplet that shares some secret (or unspoken) truth, or you could try to write a poem that strings multiple landays together like stanzas (maybe something akin to a syllabic ghazal?)

Poem in process


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