When Melodies Gather: Oral Art of the Mahra


You’ve chosen to address a specific event or occasion in your poem. The next question is whether you’ll follow the template provided by one of the conventional genres or whether you’ll compose a poem without a specific type of poem and performance venue in mind. The former mode carries with it an assumption of rules, an appeal to tradition, and the potential for greater prestige and circulation. The latter are general purpose poems: they may be sung to a variety of melodies, their topics may cross the line between sentimental and occasional verse, they may be hummed in private, sung in public, or recited among friends and family.   

What’s your approach?

I’ll stick to a specific template.
I’ll take a free-form approach.

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