A Persian poetic form, from the Arabic for "the talk of boys and girls". These poems are usually flirty and sweet-talking, light-hearted. It is formed of five to twelve couplets, with the poet's name in the final stanza. The lines do not have to necessarily tell a story, in fact, one of the characteristics of a classic ghazal is that each couplet can stand on its own and be understood, like a proverb or saying. However, all of the lines contribute to a central idea- the unity is based on the idea of a theme, and its variations.
In regards to meter, in the most traditional ghazal (which is what I try to work with) the lines are all the same length, syllable-wise.
The rhyme scheme is fairly complicated for the ghazal. The first couplet shares a rhyme, and is supposed to set the mood for the entire poem. That first rhyme (the actual words, called radif) is supposed to be repeated as the rhyme in the second line of each of the successive couplets. Also, the words that come before the radif (called kaafiyaa) are supposed to rhyme with the kaafiyaa of all successive rhymes.
An example is below but here, roughly, is the rhyme scheme:
And so on. The 1 is the kaafiyaa, whereas A represents the radif, the words that repeat. It is similar to the rondeau, in the sense that it is only a few words that must necessarily be repeated, and not the whole line.
Here is a ghazal that I wrote, as close to the original Persian format as possible. I wasn't able to find any other formal English ghazals.
By the Phone
I wish I could stop waiting by the phone
I know I cannot live life by the phone
"It seemed everything started off just fine,"
I sit here contemplating by the phone.
We'd hardly seen each other out of class
but found ourselves relating by the phone.
I loved to sit and work with you all night,
Composing and creating by the phone.
When we decided to start "going out,"
We stopped our conversating by the phone.
When college came you moved; we'd spend our nights
up late commiserating by the phone.
Our first semester we were doing fine--
We were a couple, dating by the phone.
The spring came and I thought that all was well,
No clue you were debating by the phone.
You told me that you'd found another girl:
Relationship-negating by the phone.
Though I still find myself here every night,
My love's disintegrating by the phone.
When I believe that I am strong enough
Well, Laurie will start hating by the phone.
Of course, that's still being worked on, and there's an alternate final stanza, but it's a start, at least. A difficult form, definitely.