Urdu Poetry

Like every language Urdu poetry is also a corner stone of Urdu literature. It has following forms.


Bait (بیت)

In Arabic bait means home or house. It is synonym of sher or verse.

Beher (بحر)

It is Arabic word meaning sea or ocean. In poetry these are those words which balances the wightage of verses or sher or ashar.

Diwan (دیوان)

A collection of poetry of a poet in one place in alphabetical order.

Kulyat (کلیات)

A collection of all works of a poet in one place in any order generally in chronological order.

Maqta (مقطع)

The last Sher of Ghazal or Qasida in which Shair use their Takhalus. If Ghazal or Qasida have not Takhalus than it will be called as last sher not maqta.

Matla (مطلع)

First verse or Sher of Qasida or Ghazal, whose both Misra’s are balanced, of same Qafiya and Radef.

Misra (مصرع)

Sher consists of two misras. It generally consists of two parts the first one is called misra e awal and the second one is called misra e sani.

Mushaira (مشاعرہ)

Gathering and meeting of poets and their admirers. In which poets present their latest poetry and sometimes their masterpieces or famous poetry.

Qafiya (قافیہ)

Collection of word or words which comes before radef in every sher of ghazal they are rhyming or same sound and same weight e.g.

Radif (ردیف)

One or more than one words continuously come in second misra of every sher in ghazal or qasida.

Sher (شعر)

In Urdu dictionary sher means to know or understand. Metaphorically the verses with rhyming and grammatically ordered style is sher. According to Shbli Nomani: the emotional expression of words is sher.

Majnon Gorkhpuri: poetry is emotional expression of words with ryhming and specific order.

Shams ur Rahman Faruqi: rhyming speech is sher.

Conclusion: It is the boundary between poetry and other literary forms. so words with specific order with rhyming  sound and with full expression of emotions are called sher.

Shayar (شاعر)

A person who write poetry is shayar or poet.

Shayari (شاعری)

The process of transformation of emotions into rhyming and ordered words the poetry.

Tah-Tul-Lafz (تحت اللفظ)

Word to word recitation of poetry is known as tah- tul- lafz.

Takhallus (تخلص)

The mentioning of a poet in ghazal and nazam. sometimes it is the original name of the poet and in certain times the pen name of a poet.

Tarannum (ترنم)

The reciting of poetry in rhyming and in song style is known as Tarannum.


The major genres of poetry found in Urdu are:

Geet (گیت)

Song written for dramas or films. Basically of happy nature or about happiness.

Ghazal (غزل)

This is a bride of Urdu poetry every poet in our directory started ghazal then they came to other forms. It is melodious, romantic and love oriented in nature.

Hamd  (حمد)

A poem which all about Allah and his powers, kindness and blessings. In general all poets of Urdu started their poetry collections with it.

Hijv (ہجو)

A poem which is written to criticize others or show the negative side of a person. To some it is separate form of poetry to some it is a kind of Qasida.

Madah (مدح)

A poem which which is written to appreciate others or to show the positive side of a person. The same case is with it like Hijv it is considered a type of Qasida and a separate form of poetry too.

Manqabat  (منقبت)

A poem in which one praises religious or heroic figures. It may be about praising someone.

Marsiya (مرثیہ) or Noha (نوحہ)

A poem about grief of a person’s death. Famous marsya’s are written on mornings of Grand son of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) The Hussain Ibn e Ali. However other people’s death and mornings have produced beautiful marsya’s too. Like Iqbal’s of Her mother’s death and more.

Masnavi (مثنوی)

It is Arabic word, it is continous poem in which every verse have same one qafya each in both sentences and all verses are in same bahr. It is useful in illustration of events and facts. According to Rafi udin Hashmi (Asnaf e Adab) it has following characteristics:


Every verse is connected to another like chains.

Maintaining order:

It says first first and second second. It has a logical order.


It say everything good or bad about specific topic. Like an expert not an amateur.

Individuality of a character:

Every character has it’s own psyche and social character a good masnvi works with each and every of its characters individually.

Unity of Character:

If one character is brave in beginning then must be brave up to last.

Avoidance from lying or rejection of own words. It must stay consistent.

Natural sequence:

It shows everything in it in natural sequence no unnatural or paranormal appears in it.

Language and linguistics:

It sets every metaphor and adverb in its place it don’t show extremes.

Munajat (مناجات)

A poem about spiritual and religious prayers.

Na`at (نعت)

A poem which Praises Prophet (peace be upon him). In such poem qualities and character of Him is praised.

Nazm (نظم)

A poem which has verses about any given topic. It revolve around one topic. It has various types in form. Two formation experience are Traditional poem having same Qafya and Radef while second one is open or blank verse poem which may have or may have not Qafya and radef.

Qasida (قصیدہ)

A from of poetry in which poet appreciates a living person for his best qualities. In syntax it is relative to Ghazal. However one Baher is used in this form. Radef is not necessory. Its first sher is known as Matla. Minimum shers must be five while there is no limit on maximum. Urdu poetry has Qasida’s of over hundred shers.

Qat’ã (قطعہ)

A poem in which any concept continuously described. It doesn’t have Matla which makes it different from Rubai.

Rubai (رباعی)

A collection of four Misra’s in which whole theme is defined completely.

Shehr a’ashob (شہر آشوب)

A poem in which different classes of society are shown in tragic manner. After economic or social or man made disaster may be a cause of it.

Wasokht (وسوخت)

A form in which a poet says a lot to beloved in a threatening manner. And suggest him/her to correct their behavior with lover. In other words it’s catharsis of a poet to beloved.