Poetry Form: Zéjel

This sounds like an interesting & fun form of poetry.

dVerse

Zéjel is a Spanish form with Arabic influence related to the Qasida and adopted by the Spanish troubadours of 15th century.   It may have appeared even earlier,  around the tenth century in Moorish Spain as part of a movement looking for freedom from the classical forms of the day. The zéjel tended to be a lighter form, like the English limerick.

The Zéjel is distinguished by linking rhyme established in the opening mudanza (strophe in which the theme is established in a mono-rhymed triplet). There have been many variations of the form, in Arabic a variation of the form is called the Zahal.

The elements of the simplest and most common form of the Zéjel are:

  1. syllabic, most often written in 8 syllable lines.
  2. stanzaic, opening with a mono-rhymed triplet followed by any number of quatrains.  
  3. rhymed, the rhyme of the opening mudanza establishes a linking rhyme with the end line of the succeeding quatrains. Rhyme scheme, aaa bbba…

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