Erotica Readers & Writers Association Blog

Friday, March 6, 2015

Writing Exercise - muzdawidj

by Ashley Lister

Our lives are complex as a Rubik’s cube
I give advice to prove I’m not a rube
And say, “Please don’t use chilli sauce as lube.”

It’s true I do not have a lot of class
With words of wisdom, I don’t have a mass
But I don’t stick spicy sauce up my ass.

Let me beat my message loud, with a drum
Let me warn you the results are not fun
Let me say: keep spices out of your rectum.

The poetic form of the Urdu masnavi were originally religious in content.  Additionally, they were written in couplets.  Over the years the form of the masnavi has been appropriated and modified until we’re left with today’s form: the muzdawidj.

As you will have noted from the example above, the muzdawidj uses triplets (a a a / b b b / c c c…) 

We’ve known each other for a while,
I’d give so much to make you smile.
So, shall we do it doggy-style?

I think true love should know no bounds
I want to hear those special sounds
You make when we’re like rutting hounds.

They tell me that true love is blind.
I love your body and your mind.
Get on all fours. I’ll go behind

The muzdawidj is a straightforward poetic form that works best (like most rhyming forms) when each line has a similar metrical value.  As a writing exercise to start your creative juices flowing before you get down to your daily writing routine, the muzdawidj is accessible, easy to remember, and surprisingly challenging.  I look forward to reading your poems in the comments box below.


  1. He goes to her in the darkness found
    midwinter; slips between the down-
    filled duvet and her body, warm

    and bare, abandoned to empty sleep.
    He is ice rigid, frozen by the beat
    of wind from the winter Kush. Her sweet

    breath is butterfly wings.
    She stirs, trembles from the sting
    of chill he brought to their bed. She leans

    against him, her hips shift along
    his thigh. Her fragrance rises strong,
    her pleasure brings his winter to grief.

    1. Gorgeous imagery, Nettie. But does it follow the rules? (As if poets should...!)

  2. Nettie,

    The rhythm of this one is enchanting. You've got so much intense imagery that I almost overlooked the fact that you've stepped away from the rhyme scheme slightly with the final line of each tercet.

    As Lisabet says, poets don't have to follow rules, and I think that's one of the things that makes this so striking.

    Thank you for sharing.


  3. Thanks, Lisabet & Ashley. I'm glad you found the piece appealing in its own right. I think a lot about rhyme, but don't seem to have the facility a writer like Rhina Espaillat with perfect rhyme and form.

    I found the exercise demanding in the use of the tercet and so my play with near rhyme gave me that little off-key moment I seem to need.


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