Oct 8, 2009


Zéjel is a romantic Spanish form with Arabic influence and adopted by the Spanish troubadors of 15th century. The first Zéjeles are attributed to the Spanish Arabic poet Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Malik ibn Quzman. They were considered part of a movement looking for freedom from the classical forms of the day.

The Zéjel is distinguished by linking rhyme established in the opening Mudanza (change) in which the theme is established in a mono-rhymed triplet.

Eight syllable lines are common, but others have been used. It can have any number of verses.

The first stanza, known as the mudanza, has three lines, rhyming aaa. All the other stanzas - as many of them as you like - have 4 lines, rhyming bbba, the a rhyme harking back to the first stanza. So the overall rhyming scheme for the poem is:

eeea... etc.

It's not quite as bad as it sounds, in fact I rather enjoyed writing in this form. My only problem seemed to be in knowing when to stop. I finally just brought it around full circle. :-)


The Wild Hunt makes its ride tonight
underneath the pale moonlight
a rare and yet a chilling sight.

First the horn sounds loud and fey
Then the hounds begin to bay
And soon the riders are away
To seek a soul, as is their right.

I hear them as they thunder past
They take their freedom while it lasts
These hunters that are unsurpassed
The huntsmen on their quest this night.

Damned are these souls that come from hell
who, in dishonest battle, fell
and now condemned to ride the dell
in search of one more fallen knight.

Merciless, they seek their prey
or any soul that’s lead astray
They’re focused on the need to slay
to set the ancient wrongs aright.

Beware the Hunter’s moon, my friends
Take heed to what the sight portends
The Wild Hunt rides when it ascends
A rare and yet a chilling sight.


Jamie D. said...

Beautifully chilling, C. I like that form...it rolls off the tongue (brain, whatever) very easily and smoothly.

C R Ward said...

Thanks Jamie! I've been wanting to do a poem about the Wild Hunt for a while now.