A Tale of Romeo & Juliet ……

Emina by Alex Šantić

Emina by Alex Šantić

Many centuries ago, it was a tradition for men to go for a turkish bath from time to time. This was where men would gather in a relaxed ambience to exchange small talk. This area was called Hamam.

Then, one young man who was returning from the Hamam, passed by the garden of the city imam (Muslim Pastor), saw the daughter of the imam. Struck by her beauty, he wrote a poem which later made him a famous poet.

Here is my humble translation of the poem, hope you like it.

At dusk, while returning from the warmth of the Hamam,

I passed by the garden of the old city Imam.

There in the garden, Under the shade of the jasmine tree,

A pitcher in her hand stood beautiful Emina.


What Beauty! I could swear by Imam!

That even the sultan would not be embarrass to have her as his wife.

The way she moved with the gentle sway of her shoulders,

Not even the Hodja’s (Muslim Holy man) amulet could save me.

I salaamed her agreeably despite by my faith. (For the young man was a Christian but he greeted in her faith, which is Muslim.)

She didn’t want to hear me, the beautiful Emina.

Instead, down the garden She went,

With her silver pitcher to scoop out water for the blossoms.

Breeze blew down the tree onto her lovely shoulders,

Unravelling her braided plait;

Causing the hyacinth scent from her washed hair to waft gently by

And struck me suddenly with a sense of dizziness and giddiness.

I swear to God I almost fell,

But still Emina went about impervious.

Only to look at me with askance. (For it was not done for young man to behave so forward with young ladies,)

Uncaring that I could expire from my tumultuous feelings for her.

This young man who later on became a famous poet because of this poem was called Aleksa Šantić

So if you passed by the streets of Mostar. You can see the statue of him and the statue of Emina too.

Because of the diversity of religions in Bosnia & Herzegovina, it is not unknown for young people to fall in love with one who is from different religion. However, in those times, it was sadly not encouraged to marry outside faith.

Posted on March 21, 2015, in A Walk through Mostar and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Beuatiful poem 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What a wonderful story. I think one thing has never changed. The language of the heart is understood by all who wish to hear it.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Lovely story. Pity she wasn’t a bit more open to his admiration, although I’m sure her father would have given her a hard time

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Another beautiful story and lovely poem thanks for sharing! Hope you’ve had a great weekend 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Beautiful translation, you bring out the story along with the imagery so well.

    I love this line –

    ‘ down the garden She went,

    With her silver pitcher to scoop out water for the blossoms.’

    Liked by 3 people

    • Globalresidence

      Many, many thanks, Litadoolan! 😊 for noticing … I feel blessed to have known you and others who are supportive and love writing like I do. I wish you the best again to make it into the International Playwriting Festival again as the previous play you did on Marie Antoinette …
      Found your play on “Ben, The” intriguing….😃

      Liked by 2 people

      • Blimey. Thanks for finding Ben! And double thanks for finding it intriguing. We had fun doing it. It’s based on Ben Nevis and it’s hard to create a mountain top in a studio theatre but we tried! I love your work and agree that blogging helps our creativity grow. What a great space!

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Sadly, even in these times, such situations exist regarding both ethnic and religious differences. Thanx for sharing the story and photo.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Thank you wunderschön der Test so wie Bild.Wünsche einen glücklichen Tag lieber Gruß Gislinde

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Beautiful poem and photo! Yes, love is independent of religion… I hope nowadays it is not a big problem to fall in love with someone of different religion in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
    Have a nice weekend!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. What a lovely poem, and I also really like the image of young woman carrying a silver pitcher… To collect water for blossoms. How special. Very enjoyable and a welcome interlude from reading disturbing news items. Thanks! And happy anniversary!

    Liked by 2 people

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