Ghazal Definition

Poetry Definition of Ghazal

A poetic form consisting of couplets which share a rhyme and a refrain.

(pronounced as "ghuzzle")


Ghazal is a Persian/Arabic /Urdu/Hindi and now English form of poetry between 5-15 rhyming couplets with or without refrain. (The refrain is the repeating part at the end of each couplet). Ghazal usually have one concept (like love, death, spring …) and that is usually ambiguous in nature, because each couplet is an independent poem in itself. Each couplet in ghazal has the same meter/ syllables that will follow throughout the poem. There are 19 different kinds of ghazals that can be categorized in three classes of short, medium, and long based on the number of syllables from 6 to 24. In ghazal, the poet usually places his/her alias in the last line and becomes a part of the poem. The rhyming in Ghazal ends like aA bA cA dA eA etc. If you choose to add refrain to your poem, the refrain comes after the rhyming in each couplet. In Ghazal, the first couplet must have the rhyming and the refrain in both halves of the couplet in subsequent couplets, only the second half of the couplet will follow the same scheme of rhyming.

Example

Where are you now? Who lies beneath your spell tonight?
Whom else from rapture’s road will you expel tonight?

Those “Fabrics of Cashmere—” “to make Me beautiful—”
“Trinket”— to gem– “Me to adorn– How– tell”— tonight?

I beg for haven: Prisons, let open your gates–
A refugee from Belief seeks a cell tonight.

God’s vintage loneliness has turned to vinegar–
All the archangels– their wings frozen– fell tonight.

Lord, cried out the idols, Don’t let us be broken
Only we can convert the infidel tonight.

Mughal ceilings, let your mirrored convexities
multiply me at once under your spell tonight.

He’s freed some fire from ice in pity for Heaven.
He’s left open– for God– the doors of Hell tonight.

In the heart’s veined temple, all statues have been smashed
No priest in saffron’s left to toll its knell tonight

God, limit these punishments, there’s still Judgment Day–
I’m a mere sinner, I’m no infidel tonight.

Executioners near the woman at the window.
Damn you, Elijah, I’ll bless Jezebel tonight.

The hunt is over, and I hear the Call to Prayer
fade into that of the wounded gazelle tonight.

My rivals for your love– you’ve invited them all?
This is mere insult, this is no farewell tonight.

And I, Shahid, only am escaped to tell thee–
God sobs in my arms. Call me Ishmael tonight.
—Agha Shahid Ali

Top 5 Ghazal Poem Examples

PMPoem TitlePoetFormCategories
Premium Member Poem Waiting to be free Salehi, Pashang Ghazalfriendship, hope, life, love,
Premium Member Poem I Write Poetry Dietrich, Andrea Ghazalpoetry,
Premium Member Poem IN THE MEADOWS IS MY DREAM Guillermo - Fraser, Olive Eloisa Ghazalbeautiful, environment, family, life,
Fifty Fifty Alhemaidy, Abdullah Ghazalheart, love,
Premium Member Poem Lavender Rain Kendrick, Sara Ghazalimagination, nature, seasonsurdu, sun,

Standard Definition


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Misc. Definitions

\Ghaz"al\, Ghazel \Ghaz"el\, n. [Ar. ghazal.] A kind of Oriental lyric, and usually erotic, poetry, written in recurring rhymes.

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