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Ghazals also traditionally express the beauty and pain of loss and separation. What sorts of challenges might a poet face in using the ghazal form? In the last couplet of a ghazal, a poet traditionally includes his name.


How did Ali adapt that tradition here? Could Ali also be alluding to the Biblical figure of Ishmael?

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Have students listen to the audio recording of the poem at least twice, marking the text with question marks something that evoked a questionhearts something pleasurableand exclamation points something that rings true. After a day of research, students will revisit their initial ideas about the speaker and the scenario that led to this utterance.

Provide computer access to students and have them research unfamiliar words, allusions, the ghazal as a poetic form, the biography of the poetand so on.

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This exercise might make a great platform for introducing various schools of criticism. Have students create a group performance of the piece. Allow students to begin by developing a physical vocabulary, three physical images that visually underscore the major themes of the text. For example, revenge might look like a fist, waiting might look like hands on hips, love might look like arms crossed on the chest, et cetera.

With heavy hearts, we bid farewell to poet and visionary miguel algarín, founder of the nuyorican poets cafe, who passed on november 30 after a decades-long career as a poet, activist, educator, leader and advocate for the literary and performing arts.

Have students present performances that incorporate this physical vocabulary, using movement as well as various vocal arrangements to convey a sense of the poem. Ali wrote nine poetry collections and a book of literary criticism T. Eliot as Editor, as well Video Home All Videos.

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Poetry Foundation. Back to. Tonight Launch Audio in a New Window. By Agha Shahid Ali. Highlight Actions Enable or disable annotations.

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Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar Pale. Where are you now? Who lies beneath your spell Where. I beg for haven: Prisons, let open your gates—. A refugee from Belief seeks a cell tonight.

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All the archangels—their wings frozen—fell tonight. Only we can convert the infidel tonight. Damn you, Elijah Jezebel threatened Elijah, who subsequently fled from danger. In 2 Kings 9, Jezebel was killed by being thrown out of a window. The hunt is over, and I hear the Call to Prayer. This is mere insult, this is no farewell tonight. And I, Shahid, only am escaped to tell thee And. God sobs in my arms.

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Used by permission of W. Norton and Company Inc. Related Learning Resources. Let Your Mirrored Convexities Multiply. From Poetry Off the Shelf March . From Audio Poem of the Day July Agha Shahid Ali read by Michael Stuhlbarg. Writing Ideas. Discussion Questions. Teaching Tips.

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More Poems by Agha Shahid Ali. At the Museum. Of Light. A Pastoral. Snow on the Desert. See All Poems by this Author. See a problem on this ? More About This Poem. Tonight By Agha Shahid Ali. This poem has learning resources.

View Resources. About this Poet. Read Full Biography. More About this Poet. Region: Asia, South. Quick Tags.

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