Ghazals: Poetic Form Consisting of Rhyming Couplets

Topics: Ghazal, Urdu poetry, Urdu Pages: 4 (1091 words) Published: April 24, 2011
The gazal (Arabic/Pashto/Persian/Urdu: غزل; Turkish: gazel) is a poetic form consisting of rhyming couplets and a refrain, with each line sharing the same meter. A ghazal may be understood as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. The form is ancient, originating in 6th century Arabic verse. It is derived from the Arabian panegyric qasida. The structural requirements of the ghazal are similar in stringency to those of the Petrarchan sonnet. In its style and content it is a genre which has proved capable of an extraordinary variety of expression around its central themes of love and separation. It is one of the principal poetic forms which the Indo-Perso-Arabic civilization offered to the eastern Islamic world. The ghazal spread into South Asia in the 12th century under the influence of the new Islamic Sultanate courts and Sufi mystics. Although the ghazal is most prominently a form of Dari and Urdu poetry, today it is found in the poetry of many languages of Indian sub-continent. Ghazals were written by the Persian mystics and poets Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi (13th century) and Hafez (14th century), the Azeri poet Fuzuli (16th century), as well as Mirza Ghalib (1797–1869) and Muhammad Iqbal (1877–1938), both of whom wrote ghazals in Persian and Urdu. Through the influence of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832), the ghazal became very popular in Germany in the 19th century, and the form was used extensively by Friedrich Rückert (1788–1866) and August von Platen (1796–1835). The Kashmiri-American poet Agha Shahid Ali was a proponent of the form, both in English and in other languages; he edited a volume of "real ghazals in English". In some ghazals the poet's name is featured somewhere in the last verse (a convention known as takhallus). Contents [hide]

1 Pronunciation
2 Details of the form
3 Themes
3.1 Illicit unattainable love
3.2 In the context of Sufism
4 Important poets of Urdu ghazal...
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