When Melodies Gather: Oral Art of the Mahra

Hemistich (Sentimental)

You’ve chosen to compose a poem that utilizes the more quotidian, two-part (hemistich) line structure. This is the default mode of Mahri poetics: hemistich lines can be used across the spectrum of Mahri poetics, from its finest exemplars to poetic lines by rank amateurs. Opting for hemistich lines means that you’ll have the latitude to compose a poem as you wish, free from the formal complexity and heightening expectations of three-part, tristich compositions. The next question concerns a practical matter:

How much time do you and your audience have?

I’ll take my time; I’ve got a lot to say.
This’ll be quick: just one thought.

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