How to Write a Ghazal Poem
Ghazal written by Salini
I wish to lie beneath your luscious mane, dark as night,
drinking the nectar of love from your eyes all the night,
The smile you throw at me at, every sight,
have me tossing and turning whole of the night.
When can I have you back and hold you tight?
I hate when you are warming someone else's bed some night.
I know you are like a flow of wine, heavy yet light,
but trust me oh my life! now I can't sleep without you beside me at night.
It is a poetic expression of two emotions the pain and love. In simple words, it is the poetic representation of the beauty of painful love.
Ghazal, as we all know, is a form of poetry which is associated with the Muslim world.It has its root from the Arabic verses, dating back to 6th century. Earlier times in the Arab world of literature it was not so popular, but steadily and slowly it gained its popularity due to brilliant ghazal poets from Indo-Arab-Persian community.
It is a poetic piece formed by two line couplets, about four to ten in number. Each couplet is complete in itself and is called a sher/sheyr in Urdu.
Writing a deep and complete packaged poem within two lines requires extraordinary caliber hence, the acceptability by the ghazal writers towards the thematic continuity concept. Ghazal is based basically on two components: rhyme and refrain.
Rhyme: it is called Kafiya/Qafiya in Urdu and is the rhyming words of the couplet. The rhyming word can happen at the end or at the refrain part of the couplet.
Refrain: Is called Radeef in Urdu. In the classical, original form, there is the usage of rhyme just preceding the refrain at the end of the line but it is not mandatory to have refrain in a ghazal if one is aiming for (modern) oriental form of ghazals. Refrainless ghazals are also beautiful, but having the both components in the couplet, makes it more brilliant and beautiful
Ghazal is always written in meter. It is tough to grasp the whole concept, so in simple ways just ensure that each line of the couplet has the same syllabic count. The count may vary between 7 to 13 per line, but when rendered it should flow smooth, like a song, .
In a basic Ghazal the last word/s of both the verses of the couplet should be same, also, the last verse of the following couplets should also end with the same words.
The first couplet is called Matla (pronounced Matlaa) in Urdu and it sets the mood and structure of the ghazal.
Two very important points about the selection of the rhyming words are,:
- If choosing perfect rhymes, like, rock, block, walk etc in the first couplet, maintain it throughout the last verse of the following couplets. You can't change it.
- Same way, If choosing the imperfect rhymes, like, restrain, pain, fame etc, you have maintain it through out the last verse of the following couplets.
The last couplet is called Makta (pronounced Maktaa) in Urdu and gives the desired ending. Some poets like to include one's signature, like name or pen name, which gives the final couplet a completion.
Examples of Ghazals by famous poets.
Flames Of Passion
Flickers of flames that dance unto the night
Softly yields shadows through this night.
Enhancing all that becomes within this glow
Loves sweet passion flamed by candlelight.
The moon may shine its fullest in the sky
And heavenly starlight may glisten bright.
Natures evening perfumes may fill the air
Of fragrant glowing petals shaded white
But nothing in this world of love compares
As candles flicker softly through this night.
This now the hour of dread and fear
Mysterious, no good nights cheer.
The ways of subtler minds dream
Any words of love for good nights cheer.
Sweet of wine and romance dancing
Are the best ways of good nights cheer.
Every word a means to draw lines
In sands of time, there's good nights cheer.
Once there was a time I could fly,
Kathy wishes for good nights cheer.
Some of the Ghazal poetry books
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