Love shayari are poems written about love in the Urdu or Hindi language formed from rhythmic couplets. Shayari are traditionally performance poems that are recited or sung.
A misra is one line of a shayari, and a sher is one verse. When composing love shayari, the poet uses a specific meter in each misra to create a musical feel in the words. The addition of extra dummy syllables and words in the poem helps keep the meter correct where necessary. The poet's goal is a shayari that expresses deep feelings and is easy to recite or sing to music spontaneously. Different schools of shayari emphasize different traditional meter patterns.
Mushaira, which are traditional South Asian public poetry expositions, feature shayari and other Urdu and Hindi poems performed publicly to music. Poets use the shayari form to write poems expressing a variety of strong emotions other than love. Marsiya is a type of Urdu poetry written to honor those who have died. Masnavi is a form of romantic poetry with a specific pattern, and qasida poetry accounts an event or tells about a person.
Urdu poetry, including love shayari, is popular in Northern India, and, as of 2015, its popularity is spreading due to immigration and the influence of the Indian movie industry. Many major cities worldwide with South Asian immigrant populations have mushaira where love shayari are performed.