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Arabic Poetry

The Mukhammas (fivefold) is a Persian or Urdu stanzaic form and as the name implies is written in quintains. The poetry is often connected to Sufiism, the mystical dimension of Islam. A reoccuring theme is praise of Iman Ali (the prophet Muhammed's cousin and the first iman.), however other themes are explored with this form. Information in English about Urdu verse forms is sparse, I found this information at Pakistan-Karachi

The elements of the Mukhammas are:

  1. stanzaic, written in any number of quintains made up of 2 distiches followed by a hemistich.  Note: distich implies the couplet must be complete and closed.
  2. metric, L1-L4 should be the same length, often 16 syllables or octameter. L5 is a hemistich and is usually around 8 syllables or tetrameter.
  3. rhymed, aaaaa bbbba cccca etc.

    x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x a
    x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x a .
    x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x a
    x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x a !
    x x x x x x x a .

    My attempt to honor the intent and frame in a contemporary style.

    First Responder: When Others Run Away

    A breath is smothered, a kitten in
                        a tree top, an unconscious unknown man
    in the street, a baby comes early,
                        shots ring out and scatter the clan.
    Water rises, fire devours, a family
                        stranded on roof top,  a stolen van,
    a store front smashed, body trapped
                        under rubble, all for which you train and plan.
    When others flee, you say I can.
                                          ~~ Judi Van Gorder 

Arabic Poetic Genres and Forms

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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