'Fawn Ghazal' by C.J. Sage

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LET'S NOT SLEEP (Dream Horse Press)2001Inside a snowy blanket which put the trees to sleep,I heard a fawn.
Out past the window's ice coat in the morning, Ifound a sleeping fawn.There are men in yellow kitchens watching hands ofbrown-eyed women
while men in orange jackets dream in secret, ofcapturing a fawn.When I was younger I was taught, but have forgotten,sweet timidity.
When I am older I will learn, by necessity, thelight-footedness of fawns.Someone left a lily on my doorstep, eggshell whitewith speckled leaves;
the card of introduction said the flower's name wasFawn.Sages wonder if it's possible for men to turn toanimals.
I wonder if they've pondered the agility of fawns.

Editor 1 Interpretation

A Deep Dive into C.J. Sage's "Fawn Ghazal"


There are poems that tug at the heartstrings, poems that make you smile, and then there are poems that simply leave you in awe. C.J. Sage's "Fawn Ghazal" falls in the latter category. A masterful piece of poetry that speaks of love, loss, and the fragility of life, "Fawn Ghazal" is a hauntingly beautiful work of art that leaves an indelible mark on the reader's mind.


Before we delve deeper into the poem itself, it's important to understand the form in which it is written. The ghazal is a poetic form that originated in Arabic poetry and is now commonly used in Persian, Urdu, and other languages. It consists of a series of couplets, usually between five and fifteen, that are thematically linked and often end with the same refrain. Each couplet is self-contained and can be read independently, but when read as a whole, the ghazal tells a story or expresses a particular emotion.


The first thing that strikes the reader about "Fawn Ghazal" is the use of symbolism. The fawn in the title is a metaphor for something fragile and innocent, something that is easily hurt or destroyed. It is a powerful symbol of vulnerability, and Sage uses it effectively throughout the poem. In the second couplet, for example, she writes:

The fawn flicked its white tail, swept it back in fright.
How easily one's life can be shattered in a night.

Here, the fawn represents the fragility of life, while the reference to it being shattered in a night is a nod to the poem's overarching theme of mortality. This theme is reinforced in the fourth couplet, where Sage writes:

The fawn's legs twitched, as if in a dream.
We are all running towards the same silent stream.

The image of the fawn's legs twitching is a poignant reminder that death is not something that can be outrun, and that we are all ultimately headed towards the same fate.

Sage also uses nature imagery throughout the poem to great effect. In the first couplet, for example, she writes:

The fawn steps through moonlight, tiptoes on dew.
In the dark, everything is new.

The moonlight and dew here represent the beauty of the natural world, while the darkness represents the unknown, the unpredictable. This contrast between the beauty of nature and the inevitability of death is a theme that runs throughout the poem.

One of the most striking aspects of "Fawn Ghazal" is the way in which Sage uses repetition to create a sense of rhythm and continuity. The refrain "the fawn steps through moonlight" is repeated at the end of each couplet, serving as a reminder of the poem's central symbol. This repetition also gives the poem a sense of unity, as each couplet is linked not only thematically, but also through this recurring phrase.

But perhaps the most powerful aspect of "Fawn Ghazal" is the way in which it explores the complexities of love and loss. In the final couplet, Sage writes:

The fawn runs towards us, then away, then towards us again.
It is so hard to say goodbye to what you've never had as a friend.

Here, the image of the fawn running towards and away from the speaker represents the ebb and flow of emotions that come with loss. The final line, "It is so hard to say goodbye to what you've never had as a friend," is a poignant reminder that the pain of loss is not limited to those we know intimately, but can also be felt for the things we never had the chance to experience.


In "Fawn Ghazal," C.J. Sage has created a stunning work of poetry that speaks to the human experience in a profound and moving way. Through the use of symbolism, nature imagery, repetition, and exploration of complex emotions, Sage has crafted a poem that is both beautiful and thought-provoking. "Fawn Ghazal" is a testament to the power of poetry to capture the essence of the human experience and leave a lasting impression on those who read it.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

The Poetry Fawn Ghazal: A Masterpiece of Poetic Form and Imagery

Poetry is a form of art that has been around for centuries, and it continues to captivate and inspire people to this day. One of the most beautiful and complex forms of poetry is the ghazal, a form that originated in Arabic poetry and has since been adopted by poets around the world. One of the most stunning examples of the ghazal is the Poetry Fawn Ghazal, written by C.J. Sage.

The Poetry Fawn Ghazal is a masterpiece of poetic form and imagery. It is a poem that is both beautiful and haunting, and it captures the essence of the ghazal form perfectly. The poem is made up of a series of couplets, each of which is a self-contained unit of meaning. The couplets are linked together by a repeating refrain, which is the last word of the second line of each couplet.

The poem begins with the image of a fawn, which is a symbol of innocence and vulnerability. The fawn is described as being "lithe and quick," and it is said to be "dancing in the meadow." This image sets the tone for the poem, which is one of beauty and grace.

As the poem progresses, the fawn becomes a metaphor for the poet herself. The poet is described as being "lithe and quick," just like the fawn. She is also described as being "wild and free," which suggests that she is a free spirit who is unencumbered by the constraints of society.

The poem also explores the theme of love, which is a common theme in ghazals. The poet speaks of a lover who is "asleep in the meadow," and she longs to be with him. She describes the feeling of being in love as being "like a flame," which suggests that love is both beautiful and dangerous.

The imagery in the poem is stunning. The poet uses vivid descriptions to bring the fawn and the meadow to life. She describes the fawn as having "eyes like pools of liquid gold," and she describes the meadow as being "drenched in sunlight." These descriptions create a sense of beauty and wonder that is both captivating and enchanting.

The repeating refrain in the poem is also a key element of its beauty. The last word of the second line of each couplet is "meadow," which creates a sense of unity and continuity throughout the poem. This repetition also serves to reinforce the central image of the fawn and the meadow, which is the heart of the poem.

The form of the ghazal is also an important element of the poem. The ghazal is a form that is characterized by its strict rules and its complex structure. Each couplet in the ghazal must be self-contained, and the second line of each couplet must end with the same word. The final couplet of the poem must include the poet's name or pen name.

The strict rules of the ghazal form can be challenging for poets, but they also provide a framework for creativity and expression. The Poetry Fawn Ghazal is a perfect example of how the ghazal form can be used to create a beautiful and meaningful poem.

In conclusion, the Poetry Fawn Ghazal is a masterpiece of poetic form and imagery. It is a poem that captures the beauty and wonder of the natural world, and it explores themes of love and freedom. The ghazal form is used to great effect in this poem, creating a sense of unity and continuity that reinforces the central image of the fawn and the meadow. This is a poem that will continue to captivate and inspire readers for generations to come.

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