Ghazal

The ghazal (Arabic/Pashto/Malay/Persian/Urdu: غزل‎; Hindi: ग़ज़ल, Punjabi: ਗ਼ਜ਼ਲ, Turkish: gazel, Bengali: গ়জ়ল, Gujarati: ગ઼ઝલ) 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 style and content it is a genre that 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 due to the influence of Sufi mystics and the courts of the new Islamic Sultanate. Although the ghazal is most prominently a form of Dari poetry and Urdu poetry, today it is found in the poetry of many languages of the Indian sub-continent.

Ghazals were written by the Persian mystics and poets Rumi (13th century) and Hafiz (14th century), the Azeri poet Fuzûlî (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 during the 19th century; 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".

It is common in ghazals for the poet's name to be featured in the last verse (a convention known as takhallus).

Read more about GhazalPronunciation, Important Poets of Urdu Ghazal, Translations and Performance of Classical Ghazal, Popularity, In English, Ghazal Singers

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