Friday, March 03, 2006

Respect our Earth and ourselves

Sleepless night

The sky gets wider every day
forests by the hour get swept away
deserts advance and drought dries all
cities washed away by solid floods
humankind, from civilised crawls back to beast
animals cry a hundredfold atrocities
like hungry locusts new regimes swarm
Medusa’s touch turns human hearts into stone.

Listen to the world groaning
taste the poisoned seas
see the blackened horizons
touch the hardened soil
smell the daily rot...

Sleepless nights unending
nightmares all day long
love for all around us
no more strong.

Hypnotized, slaves to apathy,
tears dry, empathy
as far away as eternity.

The sky gets wider every day
and us narrowminded
breathing our final deathly egocentrisms
slaughtering our own destiny.

Poem in Italian

The following is a poem I wrote in the late '90s. It's a nostalgic poem in which I recall the city of Florence in which I had just spent 2 years studying literature and literary criticism. At first I felt alone and a stranger, but eventually I made some good friends and considered Florence as my second home. Uno sguardo indietro literally means "A look back". Time flies and places change. However, frequently one has flashbacks and memories of times and places past. Sometimes one can also remember particular sounds or scents attached to certain places. Florence is a city 100 times worth seeing. I would suggest first to read a lot about this city (a Renaissance jewel) and eventually visit it. The photo shows the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral and the Battistero in front, both in the heart of Florence.

Uno sguardo indietro

Passa il tempo
mutano i luoghi
si sciolgono i mesi, le stagioni.

Vivo brevi istanti di sogno
cogli occhi aperti
e m’immagino scorrere le tue strade
lunghe e strette
che s’intrecciano una nell’altra
come un labirinto nel quale
la via smarrisci

In quei dì passati
schiavo della tristezza
straniero tra una folla straniera
percorrevo le banchine abbattuto
perduta la speme d’incrociare
un amico.

E adesso bramo quelle lunghe istanze d’esilio
bramo i rossi tetti inclinati
bramo il volo delle rondini liete fortunate...
e il labirinto fiorentino
nel quale impresso ho il segno di mille passi
si scoglie nel nulla. . .
un garbuglio di ricordi.

Scattano nella mia mente uno dopo l’altro
le immagini, i colori e i suoni
rievocazioni di questa città signorile.
Scorrono come un passo dopo l’altro
il verde delle colline vicine
il cielo toccato da mille campanili e cupole
gli oliveti, le vigne del Chianti
i marmi di mille templi e cattedrali
l’Arno dalle acque-arcobaleno immobili
che cangiano in cento colori.

Bramo il fischio lontano dei treni
le sirene dolenti delle ambulanze
il suono di mille vetture.
Bramo le mille vetrine vanitose
che ti sbarrano il cammino. . .

Firenze, frutto d’epoche diverse
gemma rinascimentale
madre di mille pittori, scrittori, scultori. . .
Firenze, mecca di mille persone curiose. . .
Rimbomba tra le tue mura
l’eco di mille favelle,
rimbombano dentro la mia testa
gli echi di mille ricordi.
Firenze, chiudo gli occhi
oblio il presente
e ritorno indietro nel tempo.

3 Poems in English

The 11th September 2001 event was lived by millions through television and internet. It was a tragedy which influenced many in different ways. Many wrote their thoughts after such a cathaclisma, others wrote short poems to express whatever passed their minds at that terrible moment.

The poem "My photo" was written after one of my frequent talks with my now 80 year old aunt. She likes to read my articles whenever they appear on local newspapers and magazines. Once she told me to give the paper one of my photos so that they could publish it together with my writings. My immediate reaction to this is expressed in the poem.

My Photo

She another five quid
and they'll include your photo.
Why? I asked.
Why shouldn't they know who you are? she said.
and I...the photo will come later
on my tomb, lest I deserve it.
And then, perhaps, they get to know who I was
And then,
it'll grow yellow and fade.

New York - 11th September 2001

The streets are bloody
black clouds conceal death and destruction
sirens crying in distress
the crowd half way between shocked and maddenned
not knowing where to seek shelter.
A while ago the city’s heart was beating
the streets flowing as always
with humankind and machines. . .
But now the dream has come to an end
abruptly replaced by a nightmare
(that struck once, twice, three times)
of ruined buildings and thousands dead.
Steel foundations melted into nothing
and, knocked down, the sleepless city
awaits wounded, in pain. . .
The streets unreal, a desert of silent sobs.

What can we do right now?
Pray for those who are no more
Console ourselves by presidential vows.

Paying the wrong price

It’ll never be the same again.
So they said.
What’s changed since then?
Mass media still spitting raging scenes of war
Smart looking daddy’s boy fickle smile
feeding blind masses readymade speeches
sucking our brains like leeches.
Daddy’s boy fickle smile
vowing vengance.
No time for reflection, introspection
Bombs and bread irriconcilable
the wrong solution
Peace, equality, respect
real revolution.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


My name is Patrick Sammut. I'm from the island of Malta. Born in 1968. I am a high school teacher at De La Salle College, Malta. I've been teaching Maltese and Italian language and literature since 1992. Between 1994 and 1996 I was studying Italian literature and literary criticism at the Universita' degli Studi of Florence. I have a Masters Degree in Contemporary Italian Literature and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education in Italian (both from the University of Malta). I am married to Rosalie and father of Andrew and Kristina.

My main interests are reading, especially world literature, philosophy, history, cinema, art and the like. In my free time I often write short articles or studies in Maltese about local literary publications and writers, Maltese society, but also about world literature and culture in general. I also write verse in Maltese, English and Italian, but not on a regular basis.

I am also an active member of local literary associations, in particular Ghaqda Poeti Maltin (Maltese Poets Association) of which I am vice-President. As part of the GhPM Committee I write various contributions for the association's magazine VERSI (I am now Editor of this poetry magazine), including poems, crit articles and poetry book reviews. I am also editor of the GhPM quarterly newsletter and of the Literary Evenings Pamphlet, a project I initiated last November 2005. As a poetry association we organise poetry evenings for the general public and for members, publish the Versi mag which is the only poetry mag on the island and where you can find poems written in various languages such as Maltese, English, Italian, French, German and Esperanto. I also coordinate the literary page of a weekly local newspaper in Maltese, IL-GENS ILLUM.

Through this blog I'd like to share my articles, studies, poems, thoughts, but also my many notes on various literary texts used at High school in both the Maltese and Italian academic programmes. Hope visitors would find such a blog interesting and useful.