Tuesday, October 5, 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 author's own.

Related reading on Perfume Shrine: the Jasmine Series


  1. Thank you for sharing this beautiful song. I have loved it that much that I'm already looking for the album :)

  2. A beautiful song to fill my heart...that was just what I needed.

    Thank you!

  3. Linda12:48

    This is absolutely lovely - so melancholy, and it was great to see the musicians. What a beautiful voice, and what descriptive words. Thank you, this will stay with me for a long long time...

  4. How lovely, thanks for sharing this!


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