Many thanks to Real Toad Sanaa Rizvi, contributing her final prompt at The Imaginary Garden, for teaching me about a formal structure I’ve never heard of before: The Landay. Sanaa tells us this:
It’s a traditional Afghan form which consists of a single couplet.
There are nine syllables in the first line and thirteen syllables in the second. These short poems typically address themes of love, grief, homeland, war, and separation.
Similar to the couplets of a Ghazal, “Landai,” in sequence works independently and can be grouped by adding more depending upon the subject matter.
(You can read far more in-depth information about—and see many fine samples of–this form at The Poetry Foundation website)
Here’s my feeble attempt:
I know that we met ages ago
but, sadly, somehow, even now we remain strangers
How can this be, this separation;
this meeting, then meeting again, and this forgetting
I’m hoping that someday I’ll know you;
that we can remember, can finally become one
Let me give myself to you today
and hope that there will be no more empty tomorrows