The Technicalities (Appointment in Semarra)

Workshop 2. Our lecturer told us a short chilling story that was based on Arabian Folktale about a merchant who was told by his master to purchase stock from the market in Baghdad. When the merchant went to the market he was met by a black cloaked figure on horseback who glared at him with the eyes of death. Scared, the merchant ran back to his master demanded a horse for him to travel on and he fled to Semarra to be as far away as possible from death. The master, flustered and annoyed went to the market himself to purchase the stock and there he met death and sought to question him. He asked death why he had to scare his servant away, but death replied, he didn’t mean to, he was just shocked to see him in Baghdad when he had an appointment with him in Semarra that evening.

The task was to choose a form of poetry and write a poem in this form that told or reflected the story. I chose to write a ballad and as I have mentioned before have struggled a lot with metres so found it hard to stick to the rules of a ballad, after 2 drafts this was the result and still no where near a ballad, however I really liked how it sounded and didn’t want to change it so there we have it… Appointment in Semarra


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