I have mainly seen three types of poetry writing formats in Urdu. I suppose, Urdu is similar to Persian and Arabic.

Examples of formats:

  1. All verses centered. Single verse per line.

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  1. Two columns. Two verses per line (side by side).

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  1. Two columns. Single verse per line.

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My question is simple: Is there some formal terminology for describing these formats?

  • The font style is called Nastaliq. I don't think left/right justification is anything unique. Also Arabic is not related to Urdu or Persian other than the script and a few loan words.
    – AML
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 0:35
  • @AML Few loan words! Arabic loans words in Persian vocabulary approach 25 percent of a text in literature. According to another source, about 40% of everyday Persian literary vocabulary is of Arabic origin. Persian language Wikipedia. page Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 22:20
  • @Sami Depends on the level of formality and/or religiousness. Also Persian has their own native words for all those Arabic-based words, so really they could largely get by without them. For example, some secular Persian nationalists are even moving away from the Arabic-based Salaam in favor of the native Persian greeting Droud. Not everyone... but more now than in a long time. 25-40% these days seems a bit much, but we are getting off topic.
    – AML
    Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 3:16
  • I'm closing this question as off-topic because it is not about learning or teaching languages. It may be on topic on Literature Stack Exchange but it appears to be too old to migrate.
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 8:13
  • What matters in poetry is the rhymes, not the writing format. Commented Sep 12, 2023 at 14:56

1 Answer 1


I am not sure if literal translation of their name from Arabic to English makes sense

Vertical poetry = الشعر العمودي

Considered the purest form of poetry, the oldest and the classical way to write poetry.

Free form poetry or Free verse = الشعر الحر no regulation as long as it rhythm, you can emphasize the pronunciation of a word, or even use silence to make it rhythm. example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQ1SqzSYvSQ

the writing style [single column or two columns] is not the main way of classification it is about following these rules

there is other types as well (which evolved later) however you only asked about theses

Vertical poetry  =  الشعر العمودي

Free form poetry or Free verse =

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