Jun 30, 2010

The Jasmine at Your Door

"The jasmine at your door, my jasmine,
oh and I came to prune it, my little bird.
And your mother thought, my Yasemin,
that I came to take you away.

The black eyes, which are sweet, my Yasemin.
Oh, the brows, which are long, my little bird.
Made me forsake ~my Yasemin~ oh, my mother's milk, my little bird."

Thus runs this Cypriot folk song which plays with the double entendre of the word jasmine: the wonderful trellis that grows upon doors and windows of course, but also the traditional Eastern Mediterranean women's name, Yasmin/Yasemin (which means of course Jasmine). So the poet is in turn speaking of the flower and of the woman, the two becoming one and the same...

Savina Yannatou and Primavera en Salonico perform the traditional Cypriot folk song The Jasmin from the album "Mediterranea: Songs Of The Mediterranean" (1998)
Translation from the Greek author's own.

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