You welcomed me back

With blazing arms wide open

Like an old friend-turned-stranger

In a warm embrace alien

And yet familiar

You, the city that

Transformed me

And I, unrecognisable

After five years of change.


You spoiled me

With spotless sapphire skies

Showcasing your everlasting summer

Each Moorish façade

And sun-baked street

Reigniting old flames

In the hearth of memory

Labyrinthine nostalgia mapped

Before my long-lost eyes.


Mornings bright and relaxed

Scaling your many towers

Admiring your cavernous halls

And gilt grandeur

Afternoons cowering

From your unabating heat

In cool pools of dappled shade

Amongst the emerald gleam

Of magnificent manicured gardens


Evenings observing

The most spectacular sunsets

Atop timber clouds

Treasuring terrific twilit panoramas

And in the thrill of night


By a fountain of many colours

Hugged by the glowing crescent

Of a great golden palace.


Sevilla, te amo.

You are an Andalusian jewel

A glorious amalgamation

Of architectures and cultures

A happy marriage of humanity and nature

A long-distance friend

But a friend for life.

My heart aches now with the question:

When will I return?


Emma H, age 26, 23/10/2017


This poem is intended as a follow-up to my previous poem, A Love Letter To Sevilla, and I hope it serves as the perfect sunshine-filled antidote to today’s freezing cold weather!

I spent three months living in Seville during my year abroad over 5 years ago, and I finally returned for a week-long holiday in early October 2017. I expected the return to feel homely and comfortable and heart-warming, but in fact the feeling was different – it was more like meeting an old friend for the first time in years, familiar and yet somewhat awkward. Even though almost everything looked the same, I felt like a stranger there now. That said, I had a lovely, scorchingly hot holiday, and my love for the beautiful Andalusia city remains as strong as ever. If you have never been, I whole-heartedly recommend that you visit!

All of the photographs are my own, a small selection (out of a total of approx. 600 that I took!) to illustrate Seville’s stunning beauty and bring the words of my poem to life.

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