The classic form of Qasida maintains a single elaborate metre throughout the poem, and every line rhymes. It typically runs more than fifty lines, and some times more than a hundred. It was adopted by Persian poets, where it developed to be some times longer than a hundred lines.
Form of Qasida
The genre of Qasida is found use as an appeal to a patron, and it means "intention". A Qasida has a single presiding subject, logically developed and concluded. Often it is a panegyric, written in praise of a king or a nobleman, a genre known as Madih, meaning "praise".
In his ninth century "Book of Poetry and Poets" (Kitab al-shi'r wa-al-shu'ara') the Arabian writer Ibn Qutaybah describes the (Arabic) Qasida as formed of three parts; a nostalgic opening in which the poet reflects on what has passed, known as Nasib. A common concept is the pursuit by the poet of the caravan of his beloved: by the time he reaches their camp-site they have already moved on.
A release or disengagement, the takhallus, often achieved by describing his transition from the nostalgia of the Nasib to the second section, the travel section or Rahil, in which the poet contemplates the harshness of the land and life away from the tribe.
The message of the poem, which can take several forms: praise of the tribe (Fakhr), satire about other tribes (Hija) or some moral maxim (Hikam). While many poets have intentionally or unintentionally deviated from this plan it is recognisable in many.
Iranians, after the 10th century, immensely developed the Qasida and used it for other purposes. For example, Naser Khosro used it extensively for philosophical, theological, and ethical purposes, while Avicenna also used it to express philosophical ideas. It may be a spring poem or autumn poem. The opening is usually description of a natural event; the seasons, a natural landscape or an imaginary sweetheart. In the takhallos poets usually address themselves by their pen-name. Then the last section is the main purpose of the poet in writing the poem.
Persian Exponents Include
* Farrokhi Sistani, the court poet of Mahmoud Ghaznavi (11th century), specially his 'Hunting Scene'.
* Masud Sa'd Salman (12th century) who was wrongfully imprisoned on the suspicion of treason.
* Anvari Abiverdi, (12th century) especially his petition for help against the invasion of Mongols.
* Khaghani Shervani (12th century) and in the 20th century, Mohammad Taghi Bahar with his innovations in using the Qasida for political purposes.
From the 14th century Persian poets became more interested in Ghazal and the Qasida declined. The Ghazal developed from the first part of Qasida in which poets praised their sweethearts. Mystic poets and Sufis used the Ghazal for mystical purposes.
Qasida in Urdu poetry is often panegyric, sometimes a satire, sometimes dealing with an important event. As a rule it is longer than the Ghazal but follows the same system of rhyme
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