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Urdu Poetry

Urdu Poetry

Every language spoken by mankind has in it some poetic elements, therefore, Poetry is considered a universal language. Though all languages differ significantly in syntax, structure, and sound. But poetic expressions remain common which indicates that poetry is more of a spiritual and human phenomenon rather than syntactical expression. Poetry is believed to carry in itself an element of subtlety and spontaneity. It is used to convey the feeling and emotions that are hard to convey in simple words. It is a personal and emotional genre that is why it is difficult to truly explain what constitutes poetry.

Urdu poetry is the oldest and traditional form and is the most widely read and adored form of Urdu literature worldwide. Urdu poetry has a long history and has numerous forms each of which is popular because of either the theme the content carries or because of its rhythmic beauty. The Legends of Urdu poetry include Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Meer Dard, Mirza Ghalib, Mir Taqi Meer, Zauq, Josh, Jigar, Faiz, Firaq and the most recent Faraz.

Major Forms of Urdu Poetry

Some of the major forms along with their brief description are as under:

Ghazal غزل:

It is a set of two liner couplets ending with the same rhyming scheme, follows one of the predefined meters of ghazals and consists of a minimum of five couplets. Unlike Nazm, each couplet of ghazal represent a different theme or thought and called a "sher"

Hamd حمّد:

"Hamd" is a word derived from the Holy Qur'an which literally translates in English as "Praise". It is a type of poem that differentiates itself from other forms of Urdu poetry on the basis of the theme. That is, Hamd is written in praise of Allah Almighty.

Na`at نعت:

Naat is a form of Urdu poetry that is specifically written in the praise of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWW).

Manqabat مُنقبت:

Manqabat is a Sufi devotional poem written in praise of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the son-in-law of Muhammad, it may be written in praise of any Sufi saint.

Marsiya مرثیہ:

Marsiya is an elegy that is written in remembrance of the death of someone beloved. It was typically composed about the death of Hasan, Husain, or their relatives and the notable Marsiya poems are written on the incident of Karbala where Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS) was martyred along with his relatives and fellows. Each Stanza of Marsiya has six lines with the last two lines with a different rhyme scheme. Following are the major Marsiya poets:
Mir Nawab Ali 'Munis',
Dulaha Sahab 'Uruj',
Syed Mohammed Mohsin (Jaunpuri),
Mustafa Meerza urf Piyare Sahab 'Rasheed',
Syed Muhammad Mirza Uns,
Ali Nawab 'Qadeem',
Syed Sajjad Hussain "Shadeed" Lucknavi,
Allama, Dr.Syed Ali Imam Zaidi,

Nazm نظم:

Urdu Nazm is a major and renowned form of Urdu poetry. It follows one theme throughout the poem & presents a unified idea or philosophy. The writers have written Nazms on common life, national issues philosophical thinking, and the precarious predicament of an individual human being. Nazm is a freestyle form of poetry so the poet is free to use any verse style with varying meters and rhyme scheme. Famous poets of this form of Urdu poetry include Nazeer Akarabadi, Iqbal, Josh, Firaq, Akhtarul Iman, Noon Meem Rashid, Faiz, Azmatullah Khan, and Ali Sardar Jafri.

Qasida قصیدہ: Qasida is a type of ode written for some benefactor, a satire or represents some important event. It is usually longer than a Ghazal but same rhyme system is used.

Other forms of Urdu include
Ruba'i رُباعی, Qawwali, and Tazkira تذکرہ.