Charbeiti/Dubeiti poetry, defination and details

The name “charbeiti” literally means “four beits”, though it is alternatively (and more accurately) called a “dubeiti” – a poem two beits. This poetic form, like the ghazal, is uniquely dari.

It is a story told in four lines, and given its small size and simplicity, is composed by scholars (such as Omar Khayyam) and farmers, students and shepherds alike. However the majority of charbeiti authors are usually common people, often illiterate. The theme is often about love, youth, and more recently about war or anything else that affects the poets life. Since the poems are often passed on orally, there can be many variations to a single poem – depending on where the poem has gone or evolved.

The charbeiti generally consists of eleven syllables, and follows the meter given below, for example:

x - - - x - - - x - -

Shamali lalazar basha ba ma chi
Zemestanesh bahar basha ba ma chi
Shawam dar gerya o rozam ba zari
Negar jan entezar basha ba ma chi

“The wild-tulips of Shamali – what does it matter to me?
That winter should become spring – what does it matter to me?
My nights are spent crying, and my days in lamentation
Waiting for my beloved, what does it matter to me…”

Boro ba yar bogo yar-e tu amad
Gol-e narges kharidar-e tu amad
Boro ba yar bogo chashm-e tu roshan
Amo yar-e wafadar-e tu amad

“Go tell my beloved – your sweetheart has arrived
Oh sweet flower, your desirer has arrived
Go tell my beloved – may your eyes be bright
That faithful sweetheart of yours has arrived”

Arakchin saret gol gol zari bud
Beradarayet da kabul ardali bud
Shawom qurban-e shawa-e zemestan
Ke bazia ba dawr-e sandali bud

“The cap on your head was embroidered in gold, my flower
Your brothers were horse-caretakers in Kabul
I am a sacrifice to those winter nights
When there were games around the sandali”

Shabi az del ze del goftom qalam ra
Bia tarif konim gham-e delam ra
Qalam gofta boro bechara asheq
Nadaram taqat-e in koh-e gham ra

“One night, I told my pen from the bottom of my heart
Come, lets boast of our sorrows to my heart
My heart said go – you poor, helpless lover
I don’t have the endurance for this mountain of sorrow”

Gham-e eshqet biaban parwaram kard
Hawayet morgh-e be-bal o param kard
Mara gofti saburi kon saburi
Saburi khak-e aalam bar saram kard

“The sorrow of your love has made me take to the desert
Your air has made me into a bird without wings or feathers
You told me ‘patience, have patience…’
Patience has thrown the dust of the world upon my head”