A Study of the Literary Term Elegy in Urdu Language



Urdu literature has provided an outstanding treasure by using all Persian literary genres presented in both verse and prose. Among all literary genres of poetry elegy is the kind which some of the scholars and critics of the subcontinent consider as an independent genre from Arabic and Persian literature. There is no doubt that mourning and lamenting for the dead has always been part of every nation’s culture. The only difference is between the ways of expression and the depth or shallowness of the feelings. Among them the elegy for Karbala’s Martyrs has found a special form due to its religious significance. Urdu elegiac poets, who are mostly among the Shia Muslims, have improved it to the extent that the scholars and critics of the subcontinent, regardless of their religion and beliefs, admit its literary significance. They have added elements which besides being mournful attract readers and listeners because of their dramatic characteristics. Dividing elegy to different parts and particles such as face, figure, entrance, battle, and etc. in the form of Mosaddas Tarkibband during different periods of time shaped a literary genre in which only the dignified poets could shine. So during the glorious days of Urdu elegy in the city of Lakhnau, lowly educated and inexperienced elegiac poets were left out naturally and the literary significance of Urdu Elegy was raised highly by the dignified and first class poets’ presence.