# ==> LEFT TO RIGHT ==> NOTES (and Ghalib meter numbers)
M1

= = / = = / = = / = = // = = / = = / = = / =
...................................................................................

Mir's famous 'Hindi meter'. Any even-numbered long syllable may be replaced at will by two shorts; but this is rare in the case of syllable 8. Very rarely, - = - replaces = - -.
M2 = = / - = = // = = / - = =  
M3 = = - = / = = - = / = = - = / = = - =  
M4 = = - / = - = = // = = - / = - = = G10.
M5 = = - / = - = - / - = = - / = - = G3.
M6 = = - / - = = = // = = - / - = = = G18.
M7 = = - / - = = - / - = = - / - = = G13.
M8 = = - / - = - = / - = = In this meter the third and fourth syllables may be replaced by one long, so that the meter can also have the form:
= = = / = - = - / = =
M9 = = - / - = - = / - = = = G19. In this meter the third and fourth syllables may be replaced by one long, so that the meter can also have the form: 
= = = / = - = / - = = = 
M10 = - = = / = - = = / = - = = / = - = G1.
M11 = - = = / = - = = / = - = G14.
M12 = - = = / - = - = / = = G8. In this meter the first long syllable may be replaced by a short; and the next-to-last long syllable may be replaced by two shorts.
M13 = - = = / - - = = / - - = = / = = G5. In this meter the first long syllable may be replaced by a short; and the next-to-last long syllable may be replaced by two shorts.
M16 = - - = / = - = // = - - = / = - =  
M18 = - - = / = - - = / = - =  
M19 = - - = / - = - = // = - - = / - = - = G15.
M20 - = = = / - = = = / - = = = / - = = = G2.
M21 - = = = / - = = = / - = = G7.
M22 - = = / - = = / - = = / - = = G12.
M23 - = = / - = = / - = = / - =  
M24 - = - / = = / - = - / = = / - = - / = = / - = - / = =
 
M25 - = - = / - - = = / - = - = / = = G9. In this meter the next-to-last long syllable may be replaced by two shorts.
M27 - - = - / = - = = // - - = - / = - = = G6.
M28 - - = - = / - - = - = / - - = - = / - - = - =  

 
 

ABOUT MIR'S METERS

For the purposes of this project, I didn't want to have to explain the whole metrical system, but I did want to give the scansion of each ghazal in some quick and convenient form. For each ghazal, I provide a number from 'M1' through 'M28' that identifies its meter as one of those given in the chart above. Long syllables ( = ) and short syllables ( - ) are marked, along with slashes for foot boundaries and double slashes for quasi-caesura breaks (where an extra, short 'cheat syllable' is allowed, like the one allowed at the end of the line in all meters).

Note: Certain numbers (M14, M15, M17, M26) are missing from the chart. They were artifacts of some early scansion errors of mine, and to try to do all the necessary renumbering would be too complex. No ghazals use these numbers. I am most grateful to Ajay Tiwari for catching these and a number of other scansion errors and enabling me to fix them.

The 'G' numbers identify the counterpart Ghalib meter. While the numbering system for Ghalib is simply sequential in divan order, for Mir the order of meters is based on how many long syllables they have at the beginning, from those with the most to those with the fewest. (M01 is of course a law unto itself.)

*Urdu Meter: A Practical Handbook* is now online at this site. It contains a thorough and pragmatic account of how the Urdu metrical system works, with practice exercises for learning scansion, and a bibliography of further readings. It was written for non-native-speakers of Urdu, especially English-speakers, and should be of help if you want to read classical or modern ghazal with full understanding. It also contains a *list of meters*.