in Persian literature, genre of poetry, a quatrain with a rhyme scheme aaba. With the masnavi, the rhymed couplet, it is a purely Persian poetic genre and not a borrowing from the Arabic, as were the formal ode (qasidah) and the love lyric (ghazal). It was adopted and used in other countries under Persian influence

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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