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Poet Carolyne Wright's "Ghazal For Emilie Parker"

Carolyne Wright
Photo Credit/Erik Rucker

It can be hard to know how to respond to tragedies on the scale of the Newtown, Conn. shooting. We want to do something, but what?

For Seattle poet Carolyne Wright, the answer came in the form of a poem, written in response to a Weekend Edition Sunday tribute to one of the victims, Emilie Parker. Wright says the story hit home for her when Emilie's father, Robbie Parker, spoke about teaching his 6-year-old daughter Portuguese. That prompted Wright to compose "Ghazal for Emilie Parker."

A ghazal is an ancient poetic form, often used to express longing. One of the most distinctive features of the form is the repetition of the same word at the end of each couplet.

Wright is the author of five volumes of poetry, most recently "Mania Klepto: The Book of Eulene" (Turning Point Books, 2012), "A Change of Maps" (Lost Horse Press, 2006) and "Seasons of Mangoes and Brainfire (Eastern Washington University Press/Lynx Books, 2nd edition 2005), winner of the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.

She is also a translator of poetry from Spanish and Bengali, including "Majestic Nights: Love Poems of Bengali Women" (White Pine Press, 2008). She is on the faculty of the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA program. Her reading was recorded in the KUOW Studios on February 1, 2013.