Emina, love story from the cobblestone alleys of Mostar

Emina, love story from the cobblestone alleys of Mostar

Mostar is the city of bridges, light, youth and poetry. There are a few cities in the world that can boost with such extraordinary landmarks and this makes them so irresistible in the eyes of visitors.

In case you have missed it, see our previous post about the famous poetry and poets from Mostar.

One of the most famous poets in Bosnia and Herzegovina is Aleksa Šantić, which is known for his poetry full of strong emotions of love and sorrow. Šantić was born in Mostar in 1868, but he also died in this city in 1924.

City of Mostar organizes Šantić Poetry Nights regularly every year in his honor.

The story of Emina is a unique love story from the cobblestone alleys of Mostar.

With this poem Šantić showed his admiration of unattainable love and later on these verses became one of the symbols of Mostar and all of its generations.

The subject of the poem is Å antić’s teenage neighbor, a girl named Emina Sefić. This is one of the most well-known sevdalinka songs of all time.

Read these beautiful lines…

Last night, returning from the warm hamam

I passed by the garden of the old Imam

And lo, in the garden, in the shade of a jasmine,

There with a pitcher in her hand stood Emina.

What beauty! By iman I could swear,

She would not be ashamed if she were at the sultan’s!

And the way she walks and her shoulders move…

— Not even an Imam’s amulet could help me!

I offered her salaam, but by my dīn,

Beautiful Emina would not even hear it.

Instead, scooping water in her silver pitcher,

Around the garden she went to water the roses.

A wind blew from the branches down her lovely shoulders

Unraveling those thick braids of hers.

Her hair gave off a scent of blue hyacinths,

Making me giddy and confused!

I nearly stumbled, I swear by my faith,

But beautiful Emina did not come to me.

She only gave me a frowning look,

Not caring, the naughty one, that I am crazy for her!


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