The Urdusi adheres to a number of strict rules that affect its unique poetic structure. These rules dominate the group of savvy lines used in all Urdu poems and dictate the location of their meters, rhythms, prosody patterns, ending words, and poet signatures. Despite these strict rules, Urdusi has developed into an incredibly colorful art that appears in a myriad of different forms.
Each form of Urdusi has its own unique characteristics that set it apart from all other forms. We can’t cover all forms in this article, but let’s take a look at the most popular ones.
Gajal Ghazal rules of Bahar, La Def, Matla, Macta, and Capilla It is a collection of many couples (called "shers") or lined phrases that follow. Every couple in Ghazal must express a single thought or focus on a particular topic in a way that they can do on their own. Each couple in Ghazal must have the same meter, bahar, the same rhyme pattern, kapiya and end with the same word radeef. Each couplet should also have an opening couplet called matla. Some Ghazals of Urdusi incorporate the poet’s pen name into the last couplet and then call it Mak Tah.
Marshia. Marssia is an elegantly written poem, a great man or something. It expresses the sadness of the death of a loved one. From a historical point of view, Urdusi’s traditional Marsiya was constructed in honor of the self-sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Husain and his army at the Battle of Karbala. This type of Marsiya describes how Hazrat Imam Husain and his companions fought Yazid’s forces on the plains of Karbala.
Masnawi. Masnawi has been in the past. It is a long, narrative epic that describes the story of the great battle that took place in. They usually involve philosophical or ethical thinking. Masnawi is much longer than Ghazal and includes a lucky couple. However, each pair has a different rhyme and ends with a different word.
Kashida Qasida is a very long ballad written to praise a king or nobleman. Sometimes it also describes great battles. It is not uncommon to find Qasida that are over 100 cutlets in length. Like Ghazal, Qasida begins with a nursery rhyme couple and uses the same kapiya or nursery rhyme pattern throughout the poem. Ghazal as we know it today was originally derived from Kashida.
Nazam. In Urdu, the word "Nazm" describes a poem that cannot be classified into a specific form. Used to. From a literary point of view, each passage of Nazam is based on one central theme in contrast to Ghazal’s paired thematic variations. Traditional Nazm verses follow the same rhyme pattern, but more modern Nazms can be written as free verses.
The subject is very complex and broad, as the brief description of the different forms of Urdu poetry shows. Mastering the art of Urdusi usually takes years of dedicated students. But that knowledge should not prevent you from reading and enjoying the fantastic poems of this particular form of art.