About the meters used
in the Divan-e Ghalib

Ghalib was not very interested in metrical innovation or experimentation. In the whole of his published Urdu divan he has used only 19 meters, and all of them are well-established within the traditional Perso-Arabic metrical system.

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. So I decided simply to number the meters Ghalib used in his divan, in the order he used them. For each ghazal, I provide a number from ‘G1’ through ‘G19’ that identifies its meter as one of those given in the chart below. 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).

If you’d like to know more, check out *Urdu Meter: A Practical Handbook*. 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.


 
# ==>> LEFT TO RIGHT ==>>
=======NOTES========
G1 = - = = / = - = = / = - = = / = - =
G2 - = = = / - = = = / - = = = / - = = =
G3 = = - / = - = - / - = = - / = - =
G4 = - = / - = = = // = - = / - = = =
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.
G6 - - = - / = - = = // - - = - / = - = =
G7 - = = = / - = = = / - = =
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.
G9 - = - = / - - = = / - = - = / = = In this meter the next-to-last long syllable may be replaced by two shorts.
G10 = = - / = - = = // = = - / = - = =
G11 = - = = / - - = = / = = 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.
G12 - = = / - = = / - = = / - = =
G13 = = - / - = = - / - = = - / - = =
G14 = - = = / = - = = / = - =
G15 = - - = / - = - = // = - - = / - = - =
G16 - = - = / - - = = / - = - = / - - = =
G17 = - - = / = - = - / = - - = / =
G18 = = - / - = = = // = = - / - = = =
G19 = = - / - = - = / - = = = In this meter the third and fourth syllables may be replaced by one long,  so that the meter can also have the form:
= = = / = - = / - = = =

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