For some reason, I never announced the publication of my latest favorite poem,
"Rilke Returns to Ronda,"
a ghazal in an earlier issue (number 63) of The Ghazal Page.
This poem was inspired by my visit to Ronda, Spain last year. I found out that Ernest Hemingway had famously visited Ronda, and so had Rainer Maria Rilke, one of my favorite poets. Rilke had been experiencing terrible writer's block and stayed a few months in a hotel in the hills there, during which he experienced a re-awakening of inspiration and began writing again.
I had been toying with the idea of writing about Rilke in Ronda but had not hit upon a way to approach the theme when I heard of The Ghazal Page's "places" challenge and realized it had to be a ghazal! I had not written a tercet ghazal before but this one seemed to demand to be one, maybe because Rilke wrote his famous "Spanish Trilogy" in Ronda!
Rilke's real first name was "Rene" so I used "reborn" in the last stanza, according to the tradition.
I make a passing reference to Hemingway as well! While I was in Ronda, my travel companion wanted to see the bullring, which is the oldest existing one in Spain, so I saw that firsthand. And the carpark we used was called "Poeta Rilke!"