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qasida

poetic form developed in pre-Islamic Arabia and perpetuated throughout Islamic literary history into the present. It is a laudatory, elegiac, or satiric poem that is found in Arabic, Persian, and many related Asian literatures. The classic qasida is an elaborately structured ode of 60 to 100 lines, maintaining a single end rhyme that runs through the entire piece; the same rhyme also occurs at the end of the first hemistich (half-line) of the first verse. Virtually any metre is acceptable for the qasida except the rajaz, which has lines only half the length of those in other metres.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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