Poetry Kaleidoscope: Guide to Poetry

Radif

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Radif is a rule in Urdu poetry which states that, in the form of poetry known as a Ghazal, the second line of all the Shers must end with the same word/s. This repeating of common words is the "Radif" of the Ghazal. It is proceeded by a Qaafiyaa, which is a repeating pattern of words.

The following is an example of a Ghazal by Daag Dehelvi. In this example the Radif is mein. The Qaafiyaa is the following pattern of words: Jalwa-gaah, nigaah, raah, haale-tabaah and aah.


aafat kii shoKhiyaa.N hai.n tumhaarii nigaah mein
mehashar ke fitane khelate hai.n jalwa-gaah mein

wo dushmanii se dekhate hai.n dekhate to hain
mai.n shaad huu.N ke huu.N to kisii kii nigaah mein

aatii baat baat mujhe yaad baar baar
kahataa huu.N dau.D dau.D ke qaasid se raah mein

is taubaah par hai naaz mujhe zaahid is qadar
jo TuuT kar shariik huu.N haal-e-tabaah mein

mushtaaq is adaa ke bahot dard-ma.nd the
ae DaaG tum to baiTh gaye ek aah mein


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