Poems by Emina Selimovic

Επιμέλεια: Εύα Πετροπούλου Λιανού

Emina Selimović was born in 1991 in Zenica. She graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy in Zenica, Department of Bosnian / Croatian / Serbian Language and Literature, and thus acquired the title of Professor of Bosnian / Croatian / Serbian Language and Literature. The area to which she is more dedicated is literature, she writes poetry and received one of the most significant awards for poetry in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the “Mak Dizdar” award for an unpublished collection.

After her undergraduate studies in Zenica, she completed her postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo, at the Department of Literature of the Peoples of BiH. She defended her master’s thesis entitled “Elements of Postmodernism and New Sensitivity in the Poetry of Zilhad Ključanin”. The master’s thesis was edited a year later and published as the book “Postmodernism and New Sensitivity in the Poetry of Zilhad Ključanin”, in 2018, published by the City Library in Zenica. The collection of poetry “Genocide in Crazy Hores”, for which she received the “Mak Dizdar” award, was published in 2016 by the publishing house Dobra knjiga. She won the first prize at the “Ratković Poetry Evenings” in Bijelo Polje for the second collection of poetry “Adem’s Tears”, which was published in 2018 in Bijelo Polje.

Also, she received the award of the “Foundation for Publishing” Sarajevo for 2019, and 2021 for the area of ​​new works by domestic authors for the books of poetry “Zembilj”, and „Genocide in crazy horse“ which was published in the mentioned years.

She publishes articles in Bosnian magazines: Lingvazin, Život, Diwan, in the Zagreb magazine Poezija, in the Kragujevac magazine Koraci and in the web magazine for literature Eckermann. She is currently studying for a doctorate in literature and culture at the Department of Comparative Literature at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo. Employed at the Museum of the City of Zenica.

Projects and other professional activities: participant in the scientific conference “The Last Bosnian Winter”, about the Croatian writer Jozefina Dautbegović; student of the interdisciplinary classroom in Jajce “Trauma, memory and healing”; participant in a poetry event about the writer Ilija Ladin; participant in the scientific conference on Hasan Kikić in Gradačac; participant in the scientific conference on Vojislav Vujanović in Tešanj; participant in the scientific conference on Ivo Andrić in Travnik; participant in the Zagreb SUR Poetry Festival organized by the Croatian Writers’ Association; participant in Ratković’s poetry evenings in Bijelo Polje; participant in the international literature festival “Bookstan” in Sarajevo; participant in the Zenica Spring in Zenica; promoter of the book “Sanchopantesque” and “Quijote” in Zenica; organizer of the literary evening and promoter of the book by Adnadin Jašarević: “Medusa’s View” in Zenica; organizer and promoter of the literary evening “No Man’s Man” dedicated to Muhamed Kondžić in Zenica.


When I write about you,
I write about what had never happened,
what had never existed.

For example,
I had never called you at the office
Just to  wanted to hear your voice.

I’ve never bought a little cake with a candle to celebrate your birthday.

I’ve never sent you a postcard from the seafront
or applauded your successes in the first place,
I didn’t even find out that your favorite coffee
is regular espresso.

I have never been afraid of your destiny
and what this day will bring to you.

I have never lived,
but I remember
and recollection is an open wound.


Once when we go to Mardin,
you will invite me to dinner
on the highest terrace of the city.
I’ll tell you how beautiful
this city is,
look at these lights.

You will point your hand at one window and say
maybe someone is making tea
here for someone he hasn’t seen for years
but  he really wanted to see him
and now they will talk about the times until the morning,
which they spent separately.

When we go to Mardin
we will look into the city,
into the little lights of love
and we won’t tell each other
Yes, maybe it will,
look out our window
and think that it is here,
in this light, that people live who love each other
and once they visited Mardin,
so they stay here until morning.


Neighbor Nafa is a village herbalist.
Yesterday we met at Sami Aksham.

Do you have anyone, she asked me
so she stepped back to tell me.

If you want your boyfriend to fall in love with you,
peel one apple in the evening.

But be careful
that your bark doesn’t break,
then put it under your pillow
and go to sleep.

That is how Mehmed looked at me too.

But what if I want him to love me, NAFO?
I asked.

She stroked my cheek,
soft, instinctive
to comfort me,
like a child,
she said,
I’m sorry.
And went on.


It’s pretty simple,
there’s only one happy woman in the world.

The one that looks like a rare bird that can’t be seen,
the one for whom in Avignon Quintet, sir,
writes that the only thing that
can be seen is the trembling of the branch she just left.
The one who has a connection with his soul.
In her life, she is inspired
by such concepts as beauty, diversity, human warmth.

When you ask her,
what does she likes?
This woman will say wisdom.

What are you missing?
She will say clearly:
Sit barefoot, by the sea
and silence.

this happy woman, in the middle of disorder and silence,
left the house into the unknown
and she continues to move on.
Explores boundaries,
she is born out of nothing,
demolishes walls,
she speaks languages she doesn’t know, but she only learned them for that occasion.

She is the basis of the image,
the center of gravity,
the artistic vision
of demystification.

When you tell her,
woman, can the heart stop?
by reasoned,
thoughtful, answers.
Only if the heart might think
it would stoped.

At one such moment
to this woman,
everything has ceased to depend on expectations and illusions,
it depends on anything.
And it became open.


And here is your cottage
from the story of Ivica and Marica.

There is a green swing tied
for a walnut tree.

There are bunches of roses, chrysanthemums,

There is quince tree.

There is the bike leaning back
on a wooden shed.

There are white chairs
and a glass table.

That’s where my heart is,
which dries like a seed
because it could never get used
to a New Land.