In The Adroit Journal's ongoing feature, "How I Wrote," Diannely Antigua shares how she wrote her poem "Diary Entry #4: Ghazal."
Diannely takes this opportunity to "Enter the psyche of the religious teenage girl." In the feature, she revisits the pages of a diary she kept her senior year of high school and the beliefs that influenced how she wrote then:
"The language was strange to the secular reader, obsessive, almost a prayer or song, as I begged God to cure my instability. And at the time, God was the only option. Within my religious community, seeking the help of mental health professionals was not only stigmatized but also not an option. We were taught they wouldn’t understand our spiritual way of life and would only cause us to stray away from God. Now I’ve come to understand this was an attempt to silence us for fear of underlying scandals coming to the surface.
When I first began crafting the poem, I had to separate myself from the girl I was in these diaries—virginal, naïve, damaged. Not without significant struggle, I appropriated her language, cut and pasted phrases together to retell her story in a different form. Soon I became immersed in creating unusual juxtapositions, challenging expectations, allowing myself to discover the malleability and awe of words."