The Café – (Zejel)

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Cafés like clock work pace the day
Though they be sunny or dark grey
Coffee ’til the aperitif!

Start the day at break of dawn
A brisk walk with a mighty yawn
Coffee on an inviting lawn
Begins the day with a leitmotif.

And when the luncheon hour comes near
A grilled sandwich with a light beer
Is right good any time of the year
(With cheese, prosciutto or roast beef.)

Evening, for the happy hour
Finds old friends under a bower …
Canapè, chips and wine devour,
Pre-dinner rites – mundane belief.



“The zejel is a Spanish verse form that pronounced “seh HELL”.

The zejel’s opening stanza presents the theme of the poem and is called the cabeza.  It is either a rhymed couplet (AA) or a rhymed tercet (AAA). Successive stanzas are quatrains built with a tercet (“mudanza”) and a single line (“vuelta”) that rhymes with the cabeza.

So… the rhyme scheme is either:

AA / BBBA / CCCA / DDDA / etc.


AAA / BBBA / CCCA / DDDA / etc.

Lines are usually 8 syllables long (mine are 10 syllables long).”

You can find this in “Blog it or Lose It’s” post (link below)…I did the 8 syllables, but I cheated as regards the first three rhymes…as this suited me better.

Today I read The Guitar Player by Blog it or Lose It a beautifully fun poem in the zejel form, which I’d never heard of…I also invited Oliana to come to a café with me…even if virtually…so two friends have inspired this little ditty, my first zejel! Thanks to you both!

In Italy the café is such an important part of social life, that the poor dears when they go to North America feel completely lost without them.  Even I, when I returned to visit felt kind of lost.

No fast food place can ever replace the café here in Italy, although MacDonald’s has added a café “surrogate” in all their restaurants!

McDonalds Padova

2 thoughts on “The Café – (Zejel)

  1. I love it!! The photos you added make it feel so real…very nice. There are plenty of cafés here in Montreal. Perhaps it was Italy that forced McDonald’s to add espresso and they have little corners in some that are not too shabby. But the best cafés are not any chains like Starbucks or Second Cup but little individual ones. However, Café Presse is not too bad for a chain. September to May they are way too filled with students and their laptops most evenings since they all provide WiFi now. So I am sipping my café as I bid you a great evening as I start my day . Ciao Bella! xx


    • Ah…but Montreal is not the U.S.A. maybe in places where there are French and Italian communities one can find proper cafés…Starbucks and similar are the pits…their coffee is aweful! Haven’t hear of Café Presse though. We don’t have a lot of free WiFi in Italy yet, or rather not in my area, can’t talk about other areas though. Have a great day cara! xxx


in shadows light - walking under weeping pines - spring rain

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