Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More poetry from Greece (3)

Eftichia Kapardeli was born in Athens and lives in Patras. She writes poetry, stories, Xai-kou, essays, and novels. She is a soprano chorus singer, and graduated from the Deparment of Journalism A.K.E.M (Athenian Center Vocational Education). She participated in many education seminars, and knows H/Y 7 programs, English and Italian, classic guitar, and studies right voice. She was a guide in the body of Hellenic Girl Scouts. She is a volunteer fire-woman. In 2004 she was a student in the Deparment Philology at the University of Patras. She has been awarded in the Panhellenic competitions in poetry, topics, stories, novels, fables, and xai kou. Her books Secret March (novel) and Sikeliana 2006 (Salamina) were awarded by D.E.E.L. and UNESCO respectively. Her works were published in literary magazines. Her first poetry collection is Confindings of secrets and Light. She is studying Greek Civilization at the University of Cyprus and is member of the World Poets Society (WPS). The official website is She is also a member of the International Writers Association with President Teresinka Pereira.



Poetess Kapardeli originally sent me her poetry in Greek. Unfortunately I don't understand Greek and so she has translated her poems in English. Although the English translation is not perfect, I've noted that the imagery is very beautiful and that there is real passion in the lines. I left Kapardeli's English as it was as I feel that the way she translated from Greek to English is languagewise revealing. Eftichia Kapardeli is essentially a romantic poet and a peace poet.


The opponents have receded
The poisons human mind
They ruined the reality
They left back destruction

In that ruins, I found
The chased innocence
Above in piles from stones
Just as fat drops of rain
Invade from everywhere
In the old house that
Sometimes was familiar
In the ruins alive a new child
A rosy promise
Chastity and youth
Was rescued


With the soul upset
and my eyes wounded
in the war the view
the peace I search
where it wanders and it sleeps
Inconsolable I stand in his
death impetus
the joy and Pleasure
old love I look for
her name I pronounce also him I call Peace
When the Sun his heat rays
in the frozen hearts him
world it leaves
and from the eyes the teardrops of farewell dry out,
and the deep wounds close
with reasons of love will say PEACE

An embrace, a kiss, a song
drops charms of happiness of benediction
of peacefulness,
in the sorrow the sadness
in the unfairness… or justice with the roses and lilies the love
joyful messages
then I will say PEACE
When the kindness the unique
the fruit of him spirit becomes
an endless internal agreement musical and the dreams of persons
polite I slowly speak PEACE
Then the hands we will give reconciliation
friends and enemies we will link
in the embrace of one old beloved all
we will meet itself


And …when rains
The mind runs
The mind goes
To that heart
When flower, when life
When air
In the sun the go down the

Memories strokes with a brush
Paints in the frozen sunbeams
Of time that woman
As blow
As breath
New, indomitable, beautifully


The light of the sun stretched out in my legs
a golden carpet
The paradise is a part golden, made from
The hands they filled stars
I outside slipped from that crowd where I was
gone around
No one slow travel hand did not keep me
jailed anymore
In the earth laid down I look at the sky
A white river from clouds
The flowers shake nonchalantly their head.
The sun sure stick in the leaves in the petals
Dead, I resemble in the earth above motionless
White is everywhere
Rings in the neck made from gravel and
the breath of white paper hearth breath….
a sound white
My soul free unfolds in the empty
I raise itself late…I feel resurrection
like again i have been given birth
How much years I was a small leaf
in the whirlwind of life and destiny

More poetry from Greece (2)

Nickos M. Batsikanis was born and raised in Pelasgia Phthiotitha’s. He made a carrier as an Airforce officer in the Greek War. Today he he deals with research concerning the Modern-Greek Language, and is approved by the Academy of Athens. He was announced honourable President of the Literary Association “Xasteron”, and he’s responsible for Public Relationships concerning the literary magazine “Keleno”. He has been included in the “People of the Year”, 2004, for his contribution to Civilization and Humanity, together with George Papandreou (minister), Dora Mpakogianni (minister, mayor of Athens), and Minos Kyriakou (president of Greek Olympic Organization). He has been honoured with a A΄ Panhellenic Poetry Prize and a A΄ Prize from the International Competition of Poetry. Moreover, his historical treatise gained the A΄ Prize equally with the Professor of History at the University of Cyprus. He was the first speaker during the literary dedication made by the “International Clubs of Maria Callas”, a true speaker to the great Diva of the Opera. A central speaker at the Word Olympiad “In Greece 2004” throughout the country. A narrative speaker at the dedication ceremony for the 80 years of the Greek singer Grigoris Mpithikotsis, the most popular Greek singer. A general co-ordinator at the International Symposium of Religious Poetry in Greece, and also its member.
He has presented many writers’ and poets’ books, among them: 1)“From my diary”: author Anna’s Grigori Mpithikotsi. 2)The c.d. “Behold the Groom is coming”… belonging to the Professor of Byzantine Music, Mr. Sotiris Doganis. He has participated in many festivities for great names of the Arts like: Elytis (Nobel), Ritsos, Lorca, Seferis (Nobel), Solomos (national poet) and other creators, while it’s been reported that his voice comes primitive and original from the past and especially the Byzantine Period. He writes articles in magazines and newspapers concerning Essays and Treatises. His work has been included in Anthologies and Internet pages, while much of his work has been translated into different languages and has been published in magazines.


Signs, poetry, 2001;

From the Skies, poetry, 2002;

A Tasty Day, poetry, 2004;

In Paradise, narrative stories, 2005;

Awakeness, poetry, 2006;

In the Light, poetry, 2007;

Fragments, treatises, 2008.

Poems by Nickos M. Batsikanis:


Tonight we’re here again
you and me, both,
with a glass between us.
One is enough,
two are many (second will be to much).
Tonight we’re here again
opposite each other,
you and me, both,
like yesterday, like every night,
just like that…
just like the way we drank coffee in the sunset…
Silent…I didn’t hear you saying anything…
what if a word you didn’t announce…
what if again you didn’t say something,
my dear silence…


Maybe it is…
the lightning that tears the horizon tonight…
the rain-drops on my window-pane…
the snow-flakes on the window-ledge…

Maybe it is…
the wind’s chants on the foliages of the trees…
the million stars of the galaxy…
the rays of the sun warming me…

Maybe it is… but every time,
I am feeling this very delicate shiver.


I’ll go ahead
with the horse of honesty
until the finishing line…

A long road is ahead of me.
An up-slope, hard-trodden
very deserted path and road…


we haven’t caught up with time
to place boundaries in you…
but don’t worry
we’re coming… we’re coming there very soon…


it will be your turn.
There aren’t winners and losers
in war.
Not but least
to see the little orphans of the traffic-lights…

Monday, December 29, 2008

More poetry from Greece (1)

With my heart's wings (2007) is a multilingual collection of poetry written by poet and author Dr. Zanneta Kalyva-Papaioannou. One can read her poetry in Greek, English, French, Italian and Chinese. The poet comes from Vachlia, of Arcadia (Greece). She studied at the Supreme Industrial School of Piraeus (with scholarship) and at the same time she was working in the "Public Electric Power Company".

Today Zanneta is a journalist, poetess and author. Her works have been published in national and international newspapers and magazines, and her poems have been translated in English, French, Italian, Chinese, Albanian and Korean.

Her writings have won international and national prizes and she is member of the "World Congress of Poets/ World Academy of Arts and Culture" from where she was awarded the Doctor of Literature. She is also member of the "Accademia Ferdinandea" (Italy), of the "International Society of Greek Writers and Artists", of the "Union of Greek Writers", of the Literary Club "XASTERON" and of the "Literary Club of Helioupolis", amongst others. Zanneta is also included in the American "Who's Who" and in "I.B. of Cambridge" (UK).

Her other publications are Memories (2001), a collection of narrative stories from her childhood; A Life's Notes (2002), a bilingual poetic collection; and Life's Essence (2003), poems and short stories;

In her poetic anthology With my heart's wings Zanneta has 25 poems translated into English, thanks to poet and translator Zacharoula Gaitanaki. Two of the most important themes in Zanneta's verse are love and peace.

POEMS from With my heart's wings:

The Dove

You are a dove

that flies in the clouds

and your wings

never stop.

You carry in your beak

an olive branch

and you fly

as high as you can.

You hope for

the coming of peace

that's why

you never stop.

Blessed mother

Mother is worthy

prizes and honors

but there are not

enough of them for her.

On her smiling face

sun rises

and a better life

wants for her famly.

She has a comfort word

for every pain and grief.

First she runs to help

a sick or a poor man.

Mother, daughter, wife, grandmother,

you are blessed,

you hold in your hands


We pick and choose our friends,
their ideas to quite fit in with us,
all we are a good company
with laughter and songs.

Memories run
like clear water
and mind wandering around,
always in the best.

In my bad moments
I recollect the past
and every time I burst:
"why all that to me?"

Photos beside me
keeping company
and I start to sing
for not feeling cloudy.

Sun shines every day
for all the people.
I open my windows
and let the sunlight in.

I open my heart
and I tell my yearning
that's the way
to ease my sigh.
all the world.

Different ways (2008) is another bilingual poetry anthology written by poet Stathis Grivas, and translated into English by Zacharoula Gaitanaki. After Citizen of the World (2007) Grivas brings to light these two long poems, "Ecce Homo" and "Pigeons and Falcons". As Gaitanaki writes in the introduction, this is "a book for the children that are dying of hunger and for 'a world without arms and bombs', a peaceful better world".
Thus Different Ways is proof that poets and politics go hand in hand. However, this is not politics the way politicians understand and practice it. Grivas politics is of the genuine type; it is poetry - and thus words - with a positive message, and not words which have egoism and personal profit as the real and only objective.
Grivas presents a strong contrast between the innocence of children on one hand, and the corruption and greed of the adult world on the other.

Excerpts from Ecce Homo:

sad children,
dreams without wings,
candles without light,
passing the soul's streets of silence
you became the living shame
of our inhuman generation...
Your parents,
Muslims or Christians,
looking in despair,
the sky of Biafra,
of Ethiopia, of Bangladesh
and shed bitter tears.
sad children,
tender beings,
innocent souls [...]

We are civilized people
and for this, we are dogmatic
and unscrupulous people.
You don't know that
with less rockets
you would have so much things...
And rice
and clothes
and schools.
And smiles
and toys.
Like Don Quixote
we'll chase
the World's rule
in the star War.
For you, we'll not reserve
a costly death,
a death of luxury.

Stathis Grivas was born in Kato Tithorea of Lokrida in 1926.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tislima lil poeta u kittieb minn Ghawdex

B’soghba kbira nhar il-Hamis, 18 ta’ Dicembru 2008 thabbret il-mewt tal-Kanonku Dun Joe Mejlak, wiehed mill-Membri Onorarji tal-Ghaqda Poeti Maltin. Huwa kellu 64 sena. Kien kittieb ta’ proza, drama u poezija. Imma kif wiehed jistenna, bhala neputi tal-poetessa Mary Meylak, ma setax jonqos li l-aktar li kien maghruf bhala poeta. Il-Kan. Mejlak ippubblika zewg kotba ta’ poezija Ghanjiet ta’ Qalbi (1978) u Rwiefen (2004). Issieheb fl-Gh.P.M. sa kwazi mit-twaqqif taghha u fl-2007 inhatar Membru Onorarju flimkien ma’ tliet poeti Ghawdxin ohra.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Nosside 2008 - Video by Stanka Gjuric

The final phase of the Nosside International Poetry Competition 2008 was an experience not to be forgotten. I had the golden opportunity to meet extraordinary poets from all over the world, not excluding the mind behind the Nosside, Prof. Pasquale Amato. A big thanks to him and to all the poets who made me feel really at home in Reggio.The following are links to the video poet and winner (Special Mention Nosside 2008) Stanka Gjuric made to commemorate those magical moments:Part 1 -
Part 2 -
Last part -

A big thanks to Stanka. People who are interested in next year's competition please visit

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Poesia con Menzione Speciale al Nosside 2008

Jum ta’ Btala
(Versione originale in maltese)

Ghad-dell ta’ sgajra mgennba
nara l-hajja tifrex quddiemi
wirja shiha ta’ affreski dinamici
waqt jum ta’ btala.

Fuq din il-firxa tila hadra
mijiet ta’ tfal u familji jinsgu
l-waqtiet sbieh taghhom.
Ir-roti hfief wahda wara l-ohra
u s-sewwieqa ckejknin imbissma
xuxthom bnadar ghar-raggi tax-xemx titbaskat.
Mad-dawra l-hsejjes kwotidjani ta’ dinja ccencel
ghal darba mistrieha minn toqol il-hajja
mill-uff u l-ajma tal-frosta ta’ l-arlogg.
Fil-gholi s-sema mcajpar jalterna
ma’ waqtiet intensi ta’ dija qawwija
u t-tajra terhi wrajha xija ta’ dnieb imlewna
u l-blalen bla heda joqomsu ’l fuq u ’l isfel
bhal atleti fuq trampolini
u l-vann tal-gelati jhabbar genna ta’ toghmiet
friski ghat-tfal ferhana.

Fuq din il-firxa tila hadra
mijiet ta’ lwien u strixxi kkuluriti
fin-nofs roqgha bajda u blu ta’ sorijiet
jigru henjin ma’ l-orfni...
Il-hin ghaddej u l-folla kielet u xorbot
u griet u dahket u laghbet
u tkellmet u xejret u ghajtet u ghajjiet
u ttewbet u strahet....

Ghad-dell ta’ sgajra mgennba
nara l-hajja tifrex quddiemi
u niftakar li xi darba anki dil-wirja
ghad izzarma u taghlaq.

(Versione in inglese)

A day of rest

Sitting under a shadowy tree
I watch life spread its arms in front of me
A solid demonstration of dynamic frescoes
during a day of rest.
On this wide green cloth
hundreds of young and not so young weave
their beautiful moments.
The bicycles speed away one after the other
and the young drivers smiling
their hair flags baking in the rays of the sun.
All around the daily sounds of a world ringing,
for once resting from life’s toll
resting from the “uff” and “ouch” of time’s lash.
High up the cloudy sky alternates
with intense moments of radiant light
and the kites let behind wakes of colourful tails
and the balls restless, bounce up and down
like athletes on a trampoline
and the ice-cream van announces a heaven of
fresh flavours for the happy children.

On this wide green cloth
hundreds of colours and colourful stripes,
in the midst a white and blue patch of nuns
who happily run with the orphans...
Time is ticking and the crowd ate and drank
and ran and laughed and played
and talked and waved and shouted and got tired
and yawned and rested...

Sitting under a shadowy tree
I watch life spread its arms in front of me
and remember that one day
curtains will be closing even on this spectacle.

Free translation by the author himself

(Versione in francese)

Une journée de repos

Assis á l’ombre d’un arbre
je regarde la vie étendre ses bras devant moi
une démonstration continue de fresques vivantes
durant une journée de repos.
Sur cette nappe verte et étendue
des centaines de jeunes et de moins jeunes tissent
leurs agréables moments.
Les bicyclettes défilent les unes derrière les autres
et les jeunes automobilistes sourient
leurs cheveux au vent brûlés par les rayons du soleil.
Entouré des sons quotidiens d’un monde en éveil
pour une fois les bruits de la vie se reposent
se reposent des « ouille » et des « aie » de ses coups.
Là-haut, le ciel nuageux alterne
avec des instants de luminosité rayonnante
et les cerfs-volants trainent leur queue colorée
les balles rebondissent continuellement
comme des athlètes sur un trampoline
et le vendeur de glaces déclamant
ses parfums aux enfants heureux.

Sur cette nappe verte et étendue
des centaines de couleurs et de zébrures colorées
se détachent des religieuses de bleu et blanc vêtues
courant joyeusement avec des orphelins…
Le temps passe et tous ont mangé et bu
et couru et ri et joué
et bavardé et gesticulé et crié et ont été épuisés
et ont baillé et se sont reposés…

Assis à l’ombre d’un arbre
je regarde la vie étendre ses bras devant moi
et me souviens qu’un jour
le rideau se fermera sur ce spectacle.

Traduit par Catherine Milet

(Versione in spagnolo)

Un día de descanso

Sentado en la sombra de un árbol,
miro a la vida extendiendo sus brazos delante de mí.
Una manifestación sólida de frescos dinámicos
en un día de descanso.
En esta tela amplia y verde
centenares de jóvenes y no tan jóvenes tejen
sus momentos bellos.
Las bicis se van rápidas, corriendo una detrás del otra
y los ciclistas sonríen,
con su pelo cociendo como banderas en los rayos del sol.

Todo alrededor, los sonidos diarios del mundo se oyen,
descansando por una vez del daño de la vida,
descansando del Ay y del Uff del látigo del tiempo.
En alto, el cielo nublado alterna
con momentos intensos de luz radiante
y las cometas desprenden huellas coloridas en el cielo
y las pelotas sin descansar, rebotan hacia arriba y hacia abajo
como atletas en un trampolín
y la furgoneta del heladero anuncia un paraíso de frescos sabores
para los niños contentos.

En esta tela amplia y verde
centenares de colores y rayas coloridas
en medio de una mancha blanca y azul de monjas
corriendo alegremente con huérfanos…
y el reloj nunca se para y la multitud comió y bebió
y corrió y rió y jugó
y habló y saludó y gritó y se cansó
y bostezó y se descansó…

Sentado en la sombra de un árbol
miro a la vida extendiendo sus brazos delante de mí
y me acuerdo que un día
las cortinas también cerrarán este espectáculo.

Traducción el español de Stephen Cachia

Winners at the Nosside 2008 (Reggio)

Top left: Patrick Sammut with Nosside President, Prof. Pasquale Amato.
Top right: Patrick Sammut with other winning poets at the Reggio TV centre.

Bottom left: Patrick Sammut (first from left, with other winning poets of Nosside 2008, at the Archaeological Museum of the Magna Grecia, Reggio).

Bottom right: Patrick Sammut being given his prize during the Ceremony at the Local Council of Reggio.


Nosside is an international poetry competition open for all countries from all over the world. Participants send their poetry written either in one of the five main languages (Spanish, French, English, Portugese, Italian) or in their native language (or dialect), with a translation in one of these five languages.
This year Nosside hosted 40 participating countries, 29 languages in all. There was one overall winner from Italy , four other winners and then 10 special mentions. Sixth Form teacher and poet Patrick Sammut featured among these last 10, with a special mention for his poem written in Maltese, Jum ta’ Btala, and translated into English as A Day ofRest.
The prize-giving ceremony was held on Friday, 28th November, at the Reggio Local Council. Poets from all over the world ( Italy , Brazil , Venezuela , Mexico , Colombia , China , Russia , Croatia , Congo , Malta ...) met and read out their winning poem.
Before the ceremony the group of poets, together with Prof. Pasquale Amato (the mind behind Nosside) were interviewed on Reggio TV. They also had the opportunity to visit the Archaeological Museum of the Magna Grecia in Reggio, where one can admire the world-famous Bronzi di Riace. In the evening they were treated to a superb Italian dinner in a restaurant nestled in the nearby hills. On Saturday morning a Seminar was held in Messina , where the poets discussed Cultural Differences and Poetry. Mr Sammut was given a silver plaque, together with a certificate commemorating the occasion.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Some days ago I received a very interesting book from Dr. Ioannis V. Menounos from Greece. The book is When Paul met Socrates - A discussion involving a number of people in Athens in 52A.D. (Alexander Press, Montreal, 2008). It is a 70-page book based on the Socratic dialogue where Menounos imagines Saint Paul meeting Socrates (two men who lived more than four centuries apart) in the present day. It is a spiritual encounter. I read it all at once as the style is flowing and the arguments treated are clear although deep. I have to read the book a second time as I want to reflect more on the situation created by the author.
Ioannis V. Menounos was born in Athens, Greece, where he graduated from the Philological School of the University of Athens with specialization in Neo-Hellenic Studies. He worked for 25 years as a teacher and principal of public high schools, obtaining his Ph.D. in 1980 for his work on the life and teachings of St. Cosmas the Aitolian. Author of 25 books, his writings include a synoptic history of the Greek nation, many monographs on St. Cosmas, novels, treatises and short stories. He was the editor of the newspaper "Dimosiographiki" for 21 years.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A poet from Romania - Study and interview

The poetry of Nadia-Cella Pop
(After reading poems in English and Italian in The Lordship of the Word)

Language, poetic mechanisms and other interesting aspects:

Reading the poetry of Nadia-Cella Pop is quite an experience. Hers is a very powerful imagery and at the same time beautiful and lyrical. Pop’s poetry is also a game on words which when read forces the reader to exclaim, “How beautiful!” Hers is a language which goes directly to the heart. All is presented in an aura of mystery. The poet is well-tied to the present but her fantasy travels back and forth in time with great ease, as with much ease she creates very effective imagery. She also travels between two different temporal points in time which mark the limits of Pop’s fantasy: at one extreme, “a world of ruins” (the extreme point of corruption), and on the other extreme, a world where “rule the butterflies” (a world of innocence, untouched). Hers is a voice in a way tied to the present, but in other ways it surpasses the limits of time. Pop’s stature at times reaches dimensions that surpass “all the worlds we know”.
In writing her poetry Nadia-Cella Pop makes use of different lexical registers such as nature, music, colours, emotions and the Bible (the crucifix is a recurring image).
Reading the poetry of Nadia-Cella Pop is also a voyage from childhood to old age, with all that is experienced in between.


Nadia-Cella Pop sings about love, peace and harmony through her word. In The Afternoon Tea she invites humankind to unite. Harmony is the key word, and all this in a simple but very fluent language. Harmony is also the thing common to both life and music. Human love later on transforms itself into a pantheistic love where the “I” unites “with the world of worlds for eternity”.
The poet invites the reader to reflect on huge (the macrocosm) and small (the microcosm) things, on the good and the evil, on the strong and the weak, on the conquerors and the vulnerable. Pop writes about the worlds both within (memory and emotions) and without (creation and nature), the told and the untold. Nature is seen as an open book from where the poet learns, reflects and expresses what people in general have no time to say.
Little gestures or things, like having a cup of coffee in the morning or a flower, inspire Pop to write about universal experiences, thus those lived by man and woman not only in Romania, but everywhere. In this way Pop manages to change gestures into words and words into poetry. Like the mime, the poet does not speak but makes us see what “we want to forget about ourselves”. Pop also helps us move always nearer to the “deciphering of the total”. And this can only happen through “pure thought and a virgin soul”.
And this makes us feel that her poetry is also an invitation to “remain forever children”, and to continue to feel the need for fables and adventure.
Pop also writes about the tiredness of the body and the grandeur of the spirit. However, part of this grandeur belongs also to poetry.


1. Why does the poet feel the need to publish his poetry in different languages and in different publications, local and foreign?

For all I know, the poet turns the usual words into artistic expressions, by giving them value and exquisite harmonies, offers a unique profoundness for feelings and visions with an endless horizon.
His/her thrills and imagination, illustrated by a multifarious gamut of imagery can reach to the readers’ souls, only if the lines are arranged on the “stave” of readers’ language.
And if the translations preserve the message and musicality of the lines, the triumph of emotional communication is guaranteed.

2. How important is it for you to have contacts with other poets, even foreign ones?

My contact with foreign poets is something of great value because of the exchange of literary ideas and realization about other creators’ opinions about personal and general struggles, in an era which is “strangled” by plenty of information and “the race of know-how, using only the most exact news” or by cold pragmatism.
Today, the poets are very anodyne or very rare, it’s all about the lyrical consumers’ pretensions, their desire to get thrilled by poetry readings, about how they can identify themselves with poet’s mood or to be mobilized to choose their life principles.

3. What do you consider most important: poetry for art’s sake, or poetry with a message?

Poetry must have a message, must be suggestive, bearing a huge area of human situations and “voices” of nature, all connected with feelings and with involvement of the divinities in the human “environment”.
All these quests must wear artistic forms, otherwise they remain in the zone of insignificant and mundane language. The art and social life must stay together.
I think the main sense of the word in a poem needs to be thoroughgoing, but not hidden, because in that case it disturbs the real sense of the message. The musical suggestion of the poetic speech leads towards essences and unknown inner vibrations.

4. What are the themes you write about in your poetry?

The themes of my poetry are provided and directed by my contemplative and philosophical structure within, of what I personally feel about events and moods. They were enriched by other people’s experiences and my vast cultural background. So, my books contain erotic poems, patriotic poems, poems with a mystic sense, where the intensity of feelings rules, poems of existence. I always respect the words’ aesthetics. I’m tracking a coherent base thinking about all types of readers, to let them taste the originality of my lyricism.

5. At what time and in what environment do you usually write poetry?

Poetry is about to be settled on the blank paper when the inspiration takes the poet’s soul by storm, when the anxiety turns into artistic expression of wisdom. And then, all the things around vanish and the space is haunted by inner voices, emotions and feelings that become marks and senses, links of the same chain in poems. The confessions and abstract thoughts of the poet need silence, that is created by areas in the dark or peaceful nature’s charm in the daylight. Of course, this is my personal opinion…

6. How do you react to people saying that the poet is only a dreamer?

I can’t be angry when someone says the poet is only a dreamer. In part it is true. The dream’s paths leads us to realms beyond our possibilities, at least as an idea, and the excessive sensitivity might raise imagery and visions of a rare beauty. But the poet could be a militant for justice and truth, a fighter of mankind’s treasures. The dreamer is romantic, passionate, picturesque, a thinker of profoundness. The dreamer’s flights are powered by imagination.

7. Your poem “The Afternoon Tea” made these questions come into my mind: what do poets and politicians have in common? How do they differ?

My poem “The Afternoon Tea” has the romantic purpose to gather together all mankind and a possible contact with the possible worlds in the outer space, due to the friendly inner rhythm of our global harmony.
I don’t think the poets and the politicians have something in common, they just live under the same sun, that’s all. While the politicians think and act for the benefit of their own clique of interests, using often “the trumpet of democracy” for many of their selfish actions, the poets unveil a world of questions, hyperboles, senses, touching suggestions, without reaching the border of theories, rules, percepts and laws. The poet remains to rule the world of metaphors.

8. The poet is someone who lives with his feet well rooted to the ground but also somebody who looks at mankind and the world from high above. What does Nadia-Cella think about this?

The poet should be a “symbiosis” between a person who lives on Earth, our beautiful planet, and another person who can climb the peaks of aspirations, imagination, majestic ideals that are waiting to be discovered and given, out of the personal retort, to the sensitivity and understanding of all the people. But, all without any seclusion or vanity from the poet.
The new reality, which the poet created this way, will be artistic and positive.

9. What does poetry have to do with love, nature and discovery, according to Nadia-Cella?

Love, that moves all the beauties of human soul, nature, that brings us harmony, protection, dangers, the discovery of all phenomena, events and quivers that give emotions to human beings, all mean the ideas which are directed by the muses to poets (bards), the real parents of life’s anthems.

10. Reading the poem “A Cry” in “a world of ruins” can poets be considered as the ruling “butterflies”?

In the poem “A Cry” I did not think of poets like “ruling butterflies”. But, after a possible apocalypse, some fragile life forms, as the butterflies might survive. So, there is hope, even little, in the splendour of a new beginning. One with gentle forms and multiple colors, charming…

11. Describe Nadia-Cella Pop as a person. Describe the city you live in, Brasov. Does Romania inspire you to write poetry? How?

Honestly, I wish to be described by others as a person, maybe by people who know me since a long time. I’d like to be considered as a sociable person, the one with the sense of honour, sympathetic, a woman with principles, joyous and full of compassion for the unlucky or unhappy ones. I hope that people around me appreciate my tact, wisdom, kindness or courage, even if I respond impulsively to impudence, lies, meanness, offensive behaviour or treason. I try to increase the good things inside me, despite other things.
Brasov, a former fortified city in Transylvania, located in Tara Barsei, is an old settlement, presented in documents since 1235; it has been settled by isolate communities since prehistoric ages. ARIUSD, my birthplace, a small village located some kilometers north from Brasov, is famous because of its neolithic settlement, so-called “Ariusd-Culture” (exquisite painted pottery). This is a reason for pride for me.
Of course, the ancient inhabitants of the city, the Dacians and the Daco-Romans lived and rode on the paths of history in the defense and development of this city. There were craftsmen, traders, artists, even artists and scholars.
Located at the foot of Mount Tampa, Brasov has beautiful landscapes of wilderness, which the tourists and locals like much. The areas of natural charm are in the neighbourhood of monuments, historical sites, cultural institutions and churches. The scientists and researchers find Brasov as a rich source and the people who like the arts and beauty think the same.
As many other creators (using words, notes, painting brush or carver’s chisel), I’m nourished by the inspiring springs offered by my country: history, places in the wild, other people’s experiences, the interferences of my own feelings. Any human involvement is a condition for a vast gamut of ideas and emotions, which I want to use as best I can, in my poems.

Thanks Nadia-Cella Pop :-)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Joe Axiaq - Poeta Malti mill-Awstralja

Intervista: Patrick J Sammut ikellem lil Joe Axiaq

Joe Axiaq twieled iz-Zebbug Ghawdex u emigra lejn l-Awstralja fl-1974. Ta’ 21 sena fil-bidu tal-qawmien multikulturali fl-Awstralja nghaqad ma’ l-ewwel grupp ta’ xandara fuq Radio 3ZZ fil-bidu tax-xandir tal-programmi Maltin fl-Awstralja, waqt li beda x-xoghol fl-amministrazzjoni manigerjali tieghu ma’ Telecom Australia u kompla bl-istudju u t-tahrig fl-amministrazzjoni, fil-gurnalizmu u fix-xandir. Kien involut fit-twaqqif ta’ l-ewwel grupp li kien jigbor fih iz-zghazagh Maltin f’Victoria, ghal attivitajiet rikreattivi u kulturali. Fl-1979 kien involut fit-twaqqif tal-Maltese Literature Group fl-Awstralja. Joe beda jikteb ta’ eta` zghira ghall-programmi tat-tfal fuq ir-Rediffusion. Huwa kompla bix-xoghol tar-radju fuq Radio 3EA, illum SBS Radio, bhala gurnalista, xandar, producer u traduttur. Illum huwa n-National Executive Producer tal-Programmi Maltin kollha li jixxandru fuq l-SBS minn Melbourne u Sydney kuljum. Ghar-radju kiteb ghadd kbir ta’ novelli, stejjer, radjudrammi, features u dokumentarji. Ix-xoghlijiet letterarji tieghu jinstabu f’ghadd ta’ antologiji Maltin, rivisti u gazzetti ppubblikati Malta u l-Awstralja..

Huwa mizzewweg lil Elizabeth, Awstraljana ta’ nisel Malti u ghandu zewgt itfal, Catherine u Bernadette.

1.X'inhi r-relazzjoni ta' Joe Axiaq u l-Awstralja llum? Xi tfisser Malta ghal min jinsab fil-pozizzjoni tieghek?

Twelidt u trabbejt f’ambjent tipiku Għawdxi fir-rahal taz-Zebbug li sas-snin sebghin tas-seklu l-iehor kienu ghadu kif hallewh missirijietna u nannieta tal-qedem, f’razzett li min-naha wahda tara l-bahar u l-bajjiet sbieh tax-Xwejni u Marsalfron u fuq in-naha l-oħra l-widien u l-ghelieqi jhaddru taht l-gholjiet tad-Dabrani u Ta’ Kuljut. X’kuntrast mal-belt ta’ Melbourne bil-hwienet, restoranti u n-negozju u l-kummerc ta’ kuljum, fejn ilni nahdem għal dawn l-ahhar tletin sena u s-subborgi ta’ l-istat vast ta’ Victoria bi triqat twal u wesghin li jihduk sa l-ibghad trufijiet li ma jwasslu ghall-imkien. Ghawdex li hallejt aktar minn tletin sena ilu huwa Ghawdex tal-kartolini:

Meta mix-Xwejni
titla’ t-telgha taz-Zebbug
minn fuq il-Ponta t’Ghajn Melel
thossok tistrieh
u ghajnejk taghlaq
f’genna ta’ l-art miflug.

(Minn Mix-Xwejni ghaz-Zebbug)

Midhla ta’ Malta u Ghawdex tal-lum bit-tibdil u l-progess li sar b’xi zjara kultant u nzomm ruhi aggornat bil-mezzi komdi tat-telekomunikazzjonijiet tal-lum u anki permezz tax-xoghol gurnalistiku tieghi, fuq il-programmi tar-Radju ta’ l-SBS li wiehed mill-ghanijiet huwa li jzommu lill-Maltin ta’ l-Awstralja aggornati b’dak li jkun ghaddej fil-gzejjer Maltin. Ghalija li ghext aktar min-nofs hajti barra minn Malta, f’pajjiz mimli rizorsi u opportunitajiet, aktar ma jghaddi z-zmien aktar naffaxxina ruhi dwar kif dan il-poplu fuq gzira zghira, mix-xejn gharaf johloq ghejxien ghal uliedu, generazzjoni wara l-ohra u llum huwa pajjiz sovran bi stil ta’ hajja ma’ l-aqwa fid-dinja. Malta ommi, l-Awstralja marti, illum facli tinfired mill-mara, imma m’ommok ma tinfired qatt.

2. F'liema attivitajiet jew ghaqdiet jew inizzjattivi inti impenjat fil-prezent?

Minhabba x-xoghol tieghi bhala National Executive Producer tal-programmi Maltin fuq ir-Radju ta’ l-SBS li jxandar programmi Maltin kuljum ghall-komunita Maltija ma’ l-Awstralja kollha, ma nista’ nkun impenjat direttament ma’ l-ebda ghaqda jew organizzazzjoni partikulari li ghandna hafna minnhom fil-komunita’ Maltija fl-Awstralja. U fl-istess hin b’xi mod jew iehor inzomm kuntatt kontinwu mal-ghaqdiet kollha permezz tal-informazzjoni li nghaddulhom fil-programmi taghna ghas-semmiegha taghna. Ahna qeghdin hemm ghal kulhadd biex nitkellmu u nahdmu id f’id ma’ dawn l-ghaqdiet u l-organizzazzjonijiet li jkollhom xi haga xi jwasslu lis-semmiegha tagħna. Is-sejha ta’ dawn l-ghaqdiet bhalissa hija li jridu z-zghazagh. Il-bicca l-kbira tal-mexxejja ta’ dawn l-ghaqdiet huma mdahhla fiz-zmien u m’hemmx min jiehu posthom.

3. Fil-belt fejn tghix, il-Maltin, u komunitajiet ohra, jiehdu interess fil-letteratura?

L-interess mill-Maltin fil-letteratura fl-Awstralja huwa limitat fis-sens li m’hemmx apprezzament bizzejjed ghal dik li hija letteratura propja. Ghal bicca l-kbira tal-Maltin fl-Awstralja, il-letteratura hija poezija li taqbel jew xi storja li tbikki jew iddahhak. Hemm socjetajiet ta’ qari u kitba letterarja Awstraljani li huma serji u li minnhom tista’ titghallem hafna. Imma bhala komunita` Maltija ghadna ‘l boghod hafna minn dan. Issib membri f’dawn is-socjetajiet Awstraljani, ulied it-tieni u t-tielet generazzjoni li tkun taf li huma ta’ nisel il-Maltin minn kunjomhom biss, ghax jiktbu biss bl-Ingliz u ma jzommux kuntatt mal-komunita` Maltija.

4. Min huma l-kittieba Maltin fl-Awstralja llum? Xtahseb dwarhom u x'qed jinkiteb minnhom?

Il-kittieba rilevanti Maltin fl-Awstralja huma ftit. Dawn huma kittieba li f’Malta diga` kienu bdew jippubblikaw u ghamlu certu isem. Dan in-numru ta’ kittieba qed dejjem jonqos minhabba l-eta` u ghalhekk dawk li fadal jinghaddu fuq l-idejn. F’dawn l-ahhar hamsa u ghoxrin sena jew aktar nistghu nghidu li ma kellniex minn dawn il-kittieba li emigraw minn Malta. Dawn il-kittieba dejjem komplew jiktbu, ghalkemm forsi mhux dejjem jippubblikaw. Matul iz-zmien kien hemm ghaqdiet jew gruppi Maltin, li kienu jhaddnu whud minn dawn il-kittieba. Illum hafna minn dawn il-kittieba jahdmu wahidhom fis-skiet. Tajjeb li jkollok ghaqdiet li jigbru u jlaqqghu lil dawk li jhobbu u ghandhom ghal qalbhom il-letteratura, minghajr ma jimtlew l-imhuh li ghax wiehed jidhol f’ghaqdiet bhal dawn isir kittieb jew poeta. In-numru zghir ta’ kittieba/poeti rilevanti, qeghdin johorgu kotba ta’ poeziji, rumanzi, u ricerka bil-Malti u bl-Ingliz li huwa inkoragganti hafna.

5. Xi tghid dwar il-programmi radjufonici u anki l-gurnali tal-Maltin fl-Awstralja?

Jien in-National Executive Producer tal-Programmi Maltin li jixxandru fuq ir-Radju ta’ l-SBS li jinghata fondi mill-Gvern Awstraljan biex ixandar nazzjonalment mal-Awstralja kollha programmi bi 68 lingwa fosthom bil-Malti. Ahna ghandna programmi ta’ siegha kuljum li jixxandru mic-centri taghna ta’ Melbourne u Sydney, b’xandara u gurnalisti Maltin impjegati fiz-zewg centri. Il-programmi jinkludu bulettini ta’ ahbarijiet ta’ Malta, l-Awstralja u l-kumplament tad-dinja, intervisti ma’ personalitajiet Maltin minn Malta u l-Awstralja dwar suggetti topici, features u ahbarijiet kurrenti, dak li jkun ghaddej fil-komunita’ Maltija fl-Awstralja, programmi talkback ecc. Il-Maltin qatt ma jixbghu jisimghu dwar dak li jkun qed isehh fil-gzejjer Maltin. Sfortunatament iz-zghazagh, ulied it-tieni u t-tielet generazzjoni m’humiex interessati fi programmi ta’ din ix-xorta. Anki t-taghlim tal-Malti fl-Awstralja wasal biex jispicca ghax m’hemmx interess bizzejjed; ghalhekk anki jekk ikunu jridu jisimghu l-programmi bil-Malti lanqas jifhmu x’ikun jinghad. U ghall-Maltin li ilhom hawn aktar minn erbghin sena, jghidulna li lanqas qeghdin jifhmu l-Malti standard li nitkellmu (specjalment fl-ahbarijiet) tant tbieghdu mir-realta ta’ Malta tal-lum u tal-lingwa Maltija li kompliet tevolvi.

Hemm programmi Maltin ohra fuq hafna stazzjonijiet komunitarji mxerrda fl-istati kollha tal-Awstralja li jsiru minn voluntiera. Dawn aktar huma programmi hfief. Gazzetti ghandna wahda biss, li tohrog darba fil-gimgha, li wkoll tinstab f’diffikulta` minhabba l-ispejjez li tirrekjedi u n-nuqqas ta’ sapport mill-komunita`.

6. Liema hija l-belt li tghix fiha? Iddeskrivi t-tajjeb u l-hazin taghha?

Jien nghix fl-istat ta’ Victoria, u nahdem fil-belt ta’ Melbourne, belt kbira u sabiha, kosmopolitana, b’gonna kbar pubblici u c-centru tan-negozju u l-kummerc, b’opportunitajiet ghal kulhadd li trid tistinka ghalihom. B’kuntrast man-nies ghaddejja mghaggla ghax-xoghol jew biex jilhqu t-trejn, it-tallaba bil-qieghda f’xi kantuniera jew xi zaghzugh li jwaqqfek ghal xi dollaru jew sigarett:

Iz-zaghzugh tallab
fit-toroq ta’ Melbourne
jipprova jwaqqaf
lil kull ikun ghaddej
u n-nies liebsa puliti
jibqghu ghaddejja
qisu m’hu xejn;
u jghaddi ragel jitlob
f’halqu biss sigarett
u x’hin iz-zaghzugh waqqfu
nifs qasam mieghu… tnejn.

(Iz-Zaghzugh Tallab)

Melbourne, hija belt maghrufa ghall-facilitajiet sportivi u kulturali matul is-sena kollha. Fis-sajf tkun mimlija vizitaturi minn madwar id-dinja ghal-loghob tat-tennis u l-krikit u mbaghad ghall-grand prix tal-karozzi. U fix-xitwa t-teatri mdawla b’shows muzikali u b’kuncerti popolari u klassici li jattitraw nies minn kull rokna tad-dinja. Is-sigar kbar tal-gonna u matul it-toroq wiesgha jibdlu l-kuluri u jinzghu u jxiddu l-weraq, fuq l-isfond dejjem griz tal-bini gholi matul kull stagun u ma’ kull tmiem ta’ wiehed hemm il-bidu ta’ hajja gdida bis-sabih taghha. Hija belt ta’ kuntrasti fejn tara eluf ta’ nies u tista’ thossok wahdek, fejn tidra taghraf in-nies bla ma tkun tafhom, fejn ix-xitwa tidhol bla mistennija f’gurnata sajfija u qabel tilhaq tilbes il-kowt ix-xemx terga’ tisreg.

7. Xi tghid dwar ir-relazzjoni bejn il-kittieba Maltin fl-Awstralja u dawk f'Malta? Hemm rabta ta' xi tip?

Personalment, ir-relazzjoni tieghi mal-kittieba Maltin hija tajba hafna. Dejjem sibt ghajnuna, kooperazzjoni u interess kull meta kelli kuntatt ma’ kittieba u poeti Maltin. Permezz tal-programmi tieghi fuq ir-radju kelli l-opportunit¿ li nintervista ghadd ta’ kittieba u poeti matul iz-zmien. Pjuttost huwa min-naha tieghi li minhabba x-xoghol ma nzommx kuntatt bizzejjed. Kull meta bghatt xoghlijiet ghall-pubblikazzjoni f’pagni letterarji, rivisti u antologiji dejjem ixxandru. Donnu hawn grupp zghir ta’ kittieba/poeti fl-Awstralja li jqisu ruhhom ma’ l-istabbiliti f’Malta u li jidhrilhom li ma jinghatawx gharfien bizzejjed f’Malta. Min-naha l-ohra nahseb li jkun interessanti li xi hadd barra l-Awstralja xi darba jhares u jistudja b’mod objettiv lejn din il-kitba bil-Malti fl-Awstralja u l-izvilupp tal-lingwa Maltija f’dan il-kontinent.

8. Fil-qosor, liema huma l-publikazzjonijiet fejn dehru l-kitbiet tieghek?

Ko-awtur tal-ktieb tal-poeziji Bejn Vjagg u Iehor (1979), selezzjoni varja ta’ poezija u proza tieghi tinstab fl-antologiji ppubblikati fl-Awstralja, Irjieh (1986) u Frott iehor (1992) u l-antologiji ta’ l-Ghaqda Letterarja Maltija Xrar (1992), Spirali (1997), Mal-Mewga taz-Zmien (2001) minbarra f’ghadd ta’ rivisti letterarji u Pagna Letterarji tal-gazzetti Maltin.


Poeziji ta’ Joe Axiaq


Mil-lista ta’ telefonijiet
b’magenbhom l-ismijiet
fid-djarju personali
illum aktar ningassa
u l-godda… ftit specjali
ghax aktar ufficcjali
fid-djarju personali
u l-qodma qed jisfaru
mhux cari
bhal dari.

Joe Axiaq

Lil Ommi Fis-Smewwiet

Il-poeżiji mtawla
li kont tafhom bl-amment
għallimtni b’dal-lament;
u kbirt u tlaqt minn darek
żagħżugħ wild l-għanja Għawdxija
biex ngħix il-poeżija
fil-bidu tar-rebbiegħa.
Hemm poeżija storja
li għadni ngħix illum
ta’ tifel jitlaq daru
u mill-bogħod ommu kuljum
tindokra l-passi tiegħu
ta’ tifel ma jikbirx
u tgħallmu l-poeżija
u kelma ma tlissinx,
u qatt iżjed minn issa
li mortli s-smewwiet
ma tgħasses sewwa fuqi
fis-serħ ta’ dan is-skiet
u ttenni l-poeżija
li ddawwal dil-mogħdija
li għad twasslni ħdejk
biex qatt fuq ħaddejk sielma
ma nara d-dmugħ li bkejt.

Joe Axiaq

(Wara li qrajt ir-rumanz ta’ Oliver Friggieri, It-Tfal Jigu bil-Vapuri.
Lil dawk il-Maltin u Ghawdxin li kellhom jitilqu Malta fuq il-vapuri,
ghal hajja ahjar).

Ommha qaltilha
li t-tfal jigu bil-vapuri
u stenniet it-tfajla
l-vapuri jidhlu x-xatt
u dahal vapur u iehor
u ghaliha tfal
ma kellhom qatt;
sakemm habbet zaghzugh
u taha tifel u tifla tnejn
u kienu l-ghaxqa t’ommhom
sakemm kibru u nizzlithom
darba x-xatt
u gie vapur hadhomlha lejn l-Awstralja
u izjed ma rathom qatt.

Joe Axiaq


Fit-toroq ta' Melbourne
jorqod it-tallab fqir
ihares 'il fuq fil-bini jilhaq is-sema
bil-kwiekeb ileqqu
jaqbzu f'muniti ta' zewg dollari
mill-oghla sulari
u ma jarax id-dollari
jaqbzu mill-but imtaqqab
u jduru tond madwaru
ta' min ghaddej fit-triq ghal daru.

Joe Axiaq

Jekk darba

Jekk darba tkun poeta
bla linka u klamar
u biex tikteb poeżija
demmek tuża bħan-nar,
ikteb ftit versi qosra
bħal dawn li llum qed taqra
qabel tħossok tiddgħajjef
u taqa’ stordut
bħal f’sakra
u tpoġġix il-karta xuga
minn fejn id-demm jisponta
flok it-tajjara bajda
li d-demm ftit ftit tiskonta.

Joe Axiaq

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Messagg ghal Jum il-Poezija 2008

Every year the 15th of October is dedicated to Poetry. Alfred Massa, President of the Maltese Poets Association, wrote this message in Maltese:


Uhud aktarx jabbinaw il-kelma profeta ma’ bniedem li jbassar il-gejjieni. Forsi ghax fl-Antik Testment il-profeti kultant kienu jaghmlu dan. Izda l-verita`, it-tifsira ta’ profeta hija ghalliem.

Ghalhekk, il-poeta tradizzjonali kien u ghadu l-ghassies tas-socjeta`; u hekk ghandu jkun. Importanti jsegwi l-grajjiet li jsehhu madwaru, u fejn jinnota nuqqasijiet ghandu jhossu fid-dmir li bi prudenza kbira jiftah halqu u jsemma’ lehnu.

Hekk ghamlu fl-imghoddi diversi poeti kbar, specjalment f’dawk il-pajjizi li kienu mmexxijin fuq linji dittatorjali. Insemmi b’ezempju lic-Cilen, Pablo Neruda, u lis-Sovjetiku, Alexandre Solzhenitsyn, li t-tnejn spiccaw hazin u daqu l-ezilju ghax ghamlu dan. Imma ma bezghux iwettqu dmirhom. U tahsbux li dawn huma hwejjeg ta’ l-imghoddi biss. Skond l-IWA ftit xhur ilu, poetessa Izlamika spiccat il-habs ghax kitbet versi dwar l-Izlam illum; versi li gew ittimbrati mill-awtoritajiet ta’ pajjizha bhala poeziji terroristici (terrorist poetry).

Importanti pero`, li l-poeta jimxi mal-qawl Ciniz li jghid: Il-poeta ghandu jkun dejjem mera tas-sewwa. Dan jimxi id f’id ma’ dak li jsostnu xi whud, illi l-Kitba, inkluza l-poezija, ghandha ghan wiehed: li taghmel il-gid.

Dr. Alfred Sant, politiku u kittieb maghruf sewwa f’pajjizna, waqt attivit¿ li saret ad unur it-tabib Guze` Bonnici fil-kwartieri tal-Partit Laburista, il-Hamrun, nhar is-Sibt 6 ta’ Ottubru 2007, heggeg lill-kittieba Maltin kollha biex ma jibzghux juru l-fehmiet dwar dak li jkun qieghed isehh madwarhom. Ma jimpurtax li jista’ jkun hemm min jittimbrahom politikament.

Hekk ghandu jkun. Hekk titlob id-demokrazija. Hekk titlob il-liberta`. Hekk titlob il-missjoni ta’ kull kittieb serju – inkluz il-poeta. Ghalhekk, xi drabi l-politici jibzghu mill-kitba. Jista’ jkun li ghal dan il-ghan inholoq il-qawl Ingliz: The pen is mightier than the sword.

Imma, b’dan il-mod biss il-poeta jkun tabilhaqq jixraqlu jissejjah profeta.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Poesie su Tellusfoglio e sul Foglio Volante

Per vedere tre delle mie poesie in italiano pubblicate su una rivista virtuale italiana premere il seguente:

Mille grazie a Paola Mara De Maestri e alla redazione di Tellusfoglio di Morbegno.

Vedi anche: E questa volta grazie mille anche ad Amerigo Iannacone di Isernia.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Poet and artist Stephen Morris at De La Salle College, Sixth Form

Left: Poet and DLS teacher Mario Attard; Right: Poet and artist Stephen Morris

Poet and artist from England (Birmingham), Stephen Morris, gave a poetry reading last Monday, 6th October, at 7pm, at De La Salle College, Sixth Form. After reading his poetry in Mosta last Thursday, Stephen Morris spent a fantastic evening together with students, teachers and members from the Maltese Poets Association. Present during the evening was DLS Sixth Form Headmaster, Dr. John Portelli.

Stephen Morris played the guitar and sang, read and acted his poetry, after giving short introductions to his writings. Patrick Sammut, who compered the evening, read a short biography and asked a number of questons to the poet. Suffering constitutes an important ingredient in the making of a good poet, who must also know how to accept rejections and defeats, while continuing to look positively towards the future. Reading and travel help a lot in inspiration.

Students present during the evening, but also a number of Maltese Poets Association (Alfred Palma, Andrew Sciberras, Anthony Farrugia and Mario Attard) members, read their poetry in both Maltese and English.

Those present were after treated to a small reception.

Left: Some of those present during the Poetry Evening at DLS;
Right: Stephen Morris singing his poetry and playing guitar.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Intervistat Salv Sammut - poeta

1 Salv Sammut u s-safar. Din kienet għażla volontarja jew seħħet minħabba raġunijiet ta’ xogħol?

Żgur li ma kinitx għażla volontarja tiegħi fis-sens li mhux jien li tlabt minn jeddi biex insiefer iżda minħabba li kont nokkupa kariga ta’ Presidenti ridt bilfors nirrappreżenta lill-GWU l-aktar f’dawk li huma Kungressi ta’ Trade Unions barranin. Minbarra dan, minħabba wkoll li jien kont inkarigat u membru fil-Bord ta’ l-Awtorita` ta’ Malta fil-qasam tas-Saħħa u s-Sigurta` fuq il-Post tax-Xogħol bilfors ridt li nattendi Seminars, Konferenzi u attivitajiet oħra Ewropej. Ġara li l-fatt li kont ili nattendi dawn il-laqgħat u għalhekk rabbejt ħbiberija ma’ kollegi Ewropej oħra kif ukoll ma’ l-Organizzaturi stess sibt ruħi wkoll f’Kumitati oħra li jiltaqgħu ta’ sikwit f’diversi bliet ta’ l-Ewropa.

2 Salv Sammut, is-safar u l-poeżija. Liema ġie l-ewwel, is-safar jew il-poeżija?

Ovvjament – il-Poeżija. Ili nikteb sa mis-sena 1964 waqt li s-safar beda lejn il-bidu tas-sena 2000 meta kienu qed isiru t-tħejjijiet biex Malta tissieħeb fl-Unjoni Ewropea.

3 Min jaqra l-ġabra tiegħek jara wkoll bniedem li jħobb jitħallat ma’ folol, kulturi u popolazzjonijiet differenti imma fl-istess ħin ifittex il-ġenb (“il-pellegrin li jterraq waħdu”) biex ikollu wkoll ħin biex jirrifletti u jikteb. Xi tgħid dwar dan?

Huwa kollu minnu li għalkemm inkun mal-kotra u xi drabi wkoll ma’ ħbieb jew kollegi kemm f’laqgħat u kemm f’xi riċeviment, xorta waħda jiġi ħin fejn jien inħossni “barrani”, waħdi, mitluf qalb dik il-ħamba kollha. Dan nemmen li huwa riżultat li minħabba li jien kont l-iżgħar wieħed fost sitt aħwa li erbgħa minnhom mietu ta’ eta` ċkejkna u minħabba li jien minn eta` bikrija ħafna kont dejjem niftakar lil missieru barra mid-dar minħabba mard fit-tul u l-qagħda ekonomika ftit jew wisq ma setgħetx tkun dik mixtieqa bħal ta’ tfal oħra u kelli bilfors nagħraf li mhux kollox seta’ jinxtara jew jingħata lili, bħal donnu nissel fija realta` tas-sitwazzjoni ħin qabel il-waqt u ħarba ġewwenija individwalista jew psikologika li minn wara d-dinja protettiva tiegħi jien inħares u nosserva dak kollu li jkun qed iseħħ madwari. Kont nirrealizza li minn kmieni fit-tfulija tiegħi kien jinħtieġli li nkun raġel qabel biss qatt kont żagħżugħ. Tgħallimt nifli dak kollu li jseħħ madwari u nweġġa’ meta nara l-inġustizzja soċjali għalkemm xi drabi jkun jinħtieġ li twebbes xi ftit qalbek għax ma tkunx taf fis-sewwa jekk dik l-inġustizzja hijiex reali jew hix imposta għal ta’ l-apposta biex tqajjem il-ħniena mingħand dak li jkun għaddej u b’hekk tkun qed tfisser aktar bħala dħul finanzjarju bħalma ngħidu aħna dawk it-tallaba fil-kantunieri li lili daqshekk iqanqluni. Tassew li kollha huma daqshekk fqar?

4 Il-versi tiegħek għandhom kemm mill-poeżija kif ukoll mir-riflessjoni! Liema minn dawn iż-żewġ aspetti tpoġġi fl-ewwel post?

Ix-xewqa tiegħi minn dejjem kienet li l-poeżija għandha tieħu l-ewwel post fil-ħsieb u l-għan aħħari għax jekk ma jkunx hemm poeżija, il-ħsieb jew it-tqanqila jkunu biss prożajċi. Madankollu, bilfors li qabel nibda nħażżeż il-vrus tal-poeżija rrid nirrifletti fuq dak li se nikteb u l-mod li bih se nikteb. Jiġifieri nipprova nikteb b’lingwaġġ poetiku u li jinftiehem minn kulħadd iżda differenti mil-lingwaġġ ta’ kuljum. Għalhekk inħoss li ż-żewġ aspetti huma t-tnejn indaqs għalija għax waħda mingħajr l-oħra mhuma xejn.

5 Inti wkoll il-poeta li titfa’ dawl fuq l-imċerċer, l-inġustizzja, il-problemi soċjali, l-adultera, il-ħaddiem, it-tfajjel jittallab il-karita`. U dan f’kuntrast ma’ aspetti oħra li tirrekordja fil-versi tiegħek bħall-Ewropa kożmopolitana tal-boulevards, tal-Cruise Liners, tad-Dolce Gabbana, tal-Palazzi, tal-Moulen Rouge, l-iSkycrapers u l-bqija. Liema Ewropa hija l-iktar awtentika għal Salv Sammut u liema waħda minnhom tħalli l-ikbar marka fuqek.

Jiena tabilħaqq nemmen li l-Ewropa hija l-iktar u l-ikbar ċivilta` fid-dinja politika, kulturali, artistika u intellettwalista. Kieku ma kinitx l-Ewropa, ma kienx ikun hemm it-tixrid ta’ kulturi oħra f’pajjiżi barra mill-Ewropa li ġew influwenzati mill-kolonjalisti Ewropej fis-sekli mgħoddija. Minħabba l-Imperi u l-Monarkiji li nbnew u nħolqu matul is-sekli, bilfors li l-Bliet Ewropej fil-bini ta’ Palazzi, boulevards iwarrdu u toroq u pjazez kbar u wesgħin bdew igawdu minn arkitettura u mod ta’ ħajja li jgħolluhom ’il fuq fil-valur u l-istima minn Bliet oħra li mhumiex Ewropej.

B’danakollu, bħalma jiġri dejjem fil-ħajja, dak li huwa b’saħħtu xi drabi jinsa lil dak inqas b’saħħtu. Min huwa komdu ftit jirrifletti f’dak li huwa nieqes mill-ħtiġiet bażiċi. Dak li huwa medhi bil-bosta bil-ħidma individwali tiegħu ma jirrealizzax li hemm min m’għandux fejn isib jaqla’ l-għixien tiegħu ta’ kuljum jew saqaf fuq rasu u għaldaqstant, dan ta’ l-aħħar jisfa mwarrab, emarġinat u minsi u jkollu jintasab fil-kantunieri jew fid-daħliet ta’ l-istabbilimenti jittallab il-ħniena ta’ ħaddieħor u jgħaddi l-lejl sajfi jew xitwi imgeddes fil-kutri tal-gazzetti jew tal-kartun.

Meta nkun f’dawn il-Bliet, filwaqt li nara d-differenza fil-mod ta’ ħajja taċ-ċittadini ma nistax ma narax u ma nħosx l-inġustizzja fit-tixrid u fit-twettiq tal-ġid soċjali fejn is-solidarjeta` donnha li mhix għal kulħadd l-istess iżda bħal fil-ġungla m’hemmx lok għal min huwa dgħajjef. Għalija personali bħall-mistoqsija ta’ qabel din, iż-żewġ realtajiet huma l-istess u t-tnejn huma awtentiċi. Il-qasma tremenda ta’ min hu kbir u ta’ min huwa żgħir; ta’ min hu b’saħħtu u ta’ min huwa dgħajjef.

6 Il-versi tiegħek huma wkoll speċi ta’ album tar-ritratti. Jissemmew postijiet bħal Frankfurt, Kosovo, Varsavja, Budapest, Vienna, Polynesia, Pariġi. Xi tgħid dwar dan?

Eżattament dak kien il-ħsieb tiegħi li noħloq ritratt ta’ awtentiċita` li fl-istess ħin nuri d-differenza li tgħaddi bejn Belt u oħra. Ridt ukoll infisser kif lili personali laqtuni emozzjonalment u kif setgħu nikktuni jew ferrħuni. Ridt noħroġ ukoll l-aspett fid-differenza soċjali u politika ta’ bliet li għal snin twal isseddqu fid-demokrazija waqt li oħrajn għadhom isibu posthom fil-ħelsien politiku ġdid tagħhom. Bliet għonja fil-ġid materjali m’oħrajn ifqar. Bliet li jiddominaw kummerċjalment u politikament m’oħrajn sottili.

7 Il-poeżija hija vjaġġ filwaqt li fil-vjaġġ hemm il-poeżija. Kif tirreaġixxi għal frażi bħal din?

Il-poeżija hija vjaġġ intelletwali fejn il-poeta jimraħ fis-sbuħija tal-ħsieb u fis-sbuħija tal-kelma miktuba kif imfissra mill-qalb li ħabtet kif tnisslet fiha t-tqanqila jew il-leħma tagħha f’mument partikolari li ma jiġix meta wieħed irid iżda meta l-moħħ, il-qalb u r-ruħ jingħaqdu flimkien biex ifissru tqanqila ta’ emozzjoni ewlenija. Filwaqt li l-vjaġġ tal-poeżija huwa espressjoni elevata fejn id-distanza u d-destinazzjoni tal-wasla tagħha huma sublimi aktar minn espressjoni ordinarja li tingħad kuljum mingħajr tferfir tal-qalb u tar-ruħ. It-tifsira espressa hija mirquma u mogħnija bi frażijiet li ma jintesewx kif jingħaddu.

8 Salv Sammut u l-parteċipazzjoni tiegħu f’Lejliet ta’ Poeżija organizzati mill-Għaqda Poeti Maltin. X’jista’ jiggwadanja l-poeta u l-ħabib tal-poeżija minn serati u għaqdiet bħal dawn?

Nitkellem għalija individwalment, jisgħobbini li ma ħadtx sehem fihom aktar qabel. L-ewwel ħaġa f’dawn is-serati m’hemmx min jistħajlu aħjar minn ħaddieħor u ħadd ma jogħla fuq ħaddieħor. Kull min irid jiġi u jaqra xogħlu huwa mistieden li jagħmel dan mingħajr irbit ta’ tema jew kundizzjoni oħra. Issir midħla u tagħmel ħbieb ġodda u ssir taf b’esperjenzi u xi drabi titgħallem ukoll minn fejn għandek tgħaddi biex ix-xogħol tiegħek tmexxih ’il quddiem. F’dawn il-Lejliet li huwa interessanti huwa biss il-POEŻIJA u mhux x’int, min int u xi twemmin tħaddan. Kulħadd l-istess u kulħadd bl-istess ħsieb aħħari li jsemma’ xogħlu u jgħolli l-poeżija fuq il-pedestal li jixirqilha.

Patrick Sammut (Ottubru 2008)



(Mejju 27, 2008)

- Salv Sammut -

Jien u g]addej minn fost il-kotra m[enna

ta]bat f’xulxin b]an-nemel ]awtiel

ti[ri wara l-]in-eternità

bla sabar f’destinazzjonijiet differenti;

in]ares u nifli b’]arsa ta’ skrutinju

lejn dil-folla mitlufa

fis-subkonxju individwali.

Rajt mara adultera tibki dmug] il-madalena

fl-istazzjon u fit-tara[ ta’ l-underground

tistenna lil bniedem-klijent

tiela’ bl-escalator g]al kirja mla]]ma tal-midinba

ma’ dmug]ha mxerred ja]sel l-g]elt l-umanità.

Rajt direttur-e\ekuttiv bil-mobajl ma’ widnejh

jag]ti struzzjonijiet biex bi sforz kollettiv

ilkoll ifasslu l-mod manipolattiv

ta’ kif b’diplomazija u strate[ija fina

jg]elbu l-avversarju kompetittiv.

Rajt tallab im`er`er jifrex il-mitra] tal-kartun,

u qabel jag]laq g]ajnejh im\ell[a mit-trakomja

jisma’ f’widnejh il-]oss itarrax tat-tren fuq il-linji

u jist]ajlu damdim fil-profondità ta’ ru]u;

i]ares imqit lejn l-indifferenza tal-kotra

g]addejja bla kompassjoni minn ]dejh.

Rajt mera [ewwa vetrina ta’ Spi\erija

u fir-riflessjoni tag]ha dehret il-mara adultera

tibki dmug] l-intolleranza tas-so`jetà;

g]adda d-direttur-e\ekuttiv f’manipolazzjoni

jikkompeti mal-]a\en tal-kompetitur;

xiref it-tallab jimtedd fuq il-mitra] tal-kartun

jis]et l-ingratitudni tal-bnedmin.

I\da fuq kollox, fihom kollha lma]t lili nnifsi

fl-isfond tal-mera li tikxef kull verità;

bniedem solitarju b’apatija kbira

iterraq fit-toroq tal-belt kosmopolitana

fis-skiet tas-solitudni

g]addej fost il-kotra li qed tg]ix

f’dinja ta’ egoi\mu sfrenat.

Salv Sammut ghadu kemm ippubblika antologija poetika bl-isem ta' TIZWIQA (2008)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

An interview with Ada Aharoni from Israel

1. Both poets and politicians have WORDS as their main tool. Does this mean that they are similar? In what way do they use words?

Poets and Politicians are quite different. Politicians use words to convince you to vote for them, as they need a seat, and therefore they often use words in such a way that are not truly what they really think or feel.

Poets use words to express themselves and their innermost thoughts, words for
them mirror their souls and their deepest feelings. They have no claim on their
readers, unlike the politians who want their votes.
Poets just sincerely hope their words will be read, understood and appreciated.

2. It seems that you believe in poetry with a message, not poetry for art's sake? Is that so and why?

I appreciate poetry for art's sake too. However, I think that the world today is in great need of the consciousness, wisdom, and love of the poets. T.S. Eliot was right when he said that "Poets are the consciousness of the world!" And with all the violence and wars we have on our planet today, we badly need the consciousness and the love of the poets to repair our world and soothe ailing humankind. It is not that I prefer poems with a message, what I would like to see is that more poets become "conscious caretakers", and that they would write beautiful and fascinating poems that move us to be better people and more involved in the mending of our ailing blue planet - before it blows up in flames.

3. Unfortunately children suffer a lot because of war. I'm thinking of your poetry and of novels written by Khaled Hosseini and Deborah Ellis (re. children in Afghanistan). How do you react to such a statement?

I have read both of Khaled Hosseini's novels all through the night, as I could not lay them down. This is exactly the kind of writing and subjects I would like to see poets dealing with. It is not only the children that are suffering in wars, it is the whole of humankind. Poets should make it their business to throw out the whole concept and practice of wars from our lives and our dictionaries.

4. When did your interest in poetry, especially in peace poetry, start? In brief, what is IFLAC and what is your current role in this organisation?

I wrote poetry (in English), since I was ten years old. I grew up in a French speaking family in Egypt, and went to an English school, and poetry was a way to speak to myself and take hold of my thoughts and feelings. One of the poets who had a great influence on my writing was the British peace poet Wilfred Owen, whose poetry we studied at school. Through his moving poetry, he made me see the absurdity of war, and as he put it: "The pity of war!" Under his influence, I became a devoted peace poet, when Alexandria was bombed every night and when we had to rush in fear to the shelters during World War II. When Egypt banished its Jewish community in 1949, and I and my family became penniless immigrants, I joined a kibbutz in Israel, and thought that now at last we could live in peace, but five cruel wars were imposed on us, and the violence continues to this day. I have therefore dedicated my life to the pursuit of peace through the creation of Bridges of Culture. I founded and am the President of IFLAC: The International Forum for the Culture of Peace till 2009, and since we have had many impressive activities, and have established a daily Peace Culture Newsletter, and five very successful PEACE CULTURE Congresses. The sixth one will be in March in Haifa, and you are all invited to particpate. Information about it will be soon posted on

5. Do you think poets can arrive where politicians did not venture regarding peace? How?

Unfortunately our fates are still in the hands of the politicians. However, what we do at IFLAC is to pave the road for the leaders to follow. We are realistic and know that we cannot impose the peace we would like so much to see, but by being a platform that expresses what the majority of the people of the world crave for - peace and freedom from violence, destruction and wars - we can influence the politicians that wars cannot resolve conflicts. We can create a peace culture that can make it easier for politicians on both sides of conflicts, like the Israelis and the Palestinians, to reach an agreement that would be acceptable by both sides.

6. How important is for you to have contacts with other poets all over the world? Have you ever held contacts with poets such as Nazim Hikmet or Sam Hamill?

It is very important for me to have contacts with poets from around the world and to exchange my thoughts and views with them. I have travelled around the world twice, and met hundreds of excellent poets (not the two you mention). I am also a member of several poetry organizations, including the WCP, Senator Teresinka Pereira's IWA, VOICES, The Israeli Association of writers and poets, etc...

7. Describe in brief: a. Ada Aharoni as a person; b. the city you live in?

As I describe myself in one of my poems, I am the "Woman of No Time." I live every minute to the full, as if it were the last one, I am involved with many projects in addition to the running of IFLAC, and the preparation of the our next International Conference in Haifa. This year I started a PEACE STORY COURSE, and we are preparing a major PEACE STORY FESTIVAL in May 2009, I have recently published 4 additional books, two in English and one in Hebrew and one in French, And all that in addition to my lecturing, writing, and an intense family life, etc., etc.,

Haifa is a beautiful city by the Mediterranean Sea, on green Mount Carmel. It is in many ways like San Francisco, as it has a large Bay. The fantastic thing about Haifa is that it is the City of Love and Peace. We have 17 denominations, including Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, Moslems, Christians, Druze and Bahai (elsewhere they all fight each other), but in Haifa, and its suburbs like Nesher, we all live in peace and harmony, and we all prosper together. IFLAC has contributed to the wonderful atmosphere in Haifa, and to the building of Bridges of peace culture among the various ethnic denominations in our beautiful and beloved city of Haifa, that can be a model for all the Middle East and the whole world.
(Patrick Sammut, September, 2008)

Poetry by Ada Aharoni:

Abdul's Children

Will not know more

Than Abdul does,

for Abdul's children

Are not taught more

Than Abdul was.

Benevolent Ladies -

Stuff your ears

With cocktail parties

Your noses with caviar,

With Champagne your eyes -

Then no more sighs,

You will not hear

Nor smell nor see

Their illiterateCries.

A Bridge of Peace

"They shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree,and none shall make them afraid." (Micah, 4, 4)

My Arab sister,

Let us build a sturdy bridge

From your olive world to mine,

From my orange world to yours,

Above the boiling pain

Of acid rain prejudice -

And hold human hands high

Full of free stars

Of twinkling peace.

I do not want to be your oppressor

You do not want to be my oppressor,

Or your jailer

Or my jailer,

We do not want to make each other afraid

Under our vines

And under our fig trees

Blossoming on a silvered horizon

Above the bruising and the bleeding

Of Poison gases and scuds.

So, my Arab sister,

Let us build a bridge of

Jasmine understanding

Where each shall sit with her baby

Under her vine and under her fig tree -

And none shall make them afraid


Prof. Ada AharoniIFLAC & WCJE President18 Amos Street, apt 77Nesher 36000

Poetry from Dorin Popa - Romania


what do I expect, now

when I don’ t expect anything, anymore ?!
I carefully counted

all my malformations

all my helplesnesses

and I happily gathered

my entire misfortunes

in my soul

what do I expect ?
the waste, the loneliness

the ragged and cobwebbed

remains of the puzzle

the infections, the mud, the slag, the confusion

kept me warm, stifled me

and yet …

and yet …


when I don’ t expect anything

what do I expect ??


do not recognize anything anymore,

I do not know, I do not remember

a stranger through my life


I hurriedly pass.

only sometimes do I perceive my trembling,

fearful, helpless heart,

heart - an animal on the brink

of extinction


mi avvicino alla vecchiaia e continuo a nascondere

sotto l´abito

i miei vagiti di bambino

Dio, rimango sempre indietro !

la malinconia ed il vuoto


il mio universo troppo piano

gli ostacoli e l´incertezza


per me

lo spavento viene a trovarmi

insieme alla speranza

neanche un secolo se vivessi

non mi basterebbe per

piangere in terra

fino alla fine

questa mia vita

che e sul punto di sfuggirmi.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Maltese Poets Association meet poet and artist Stephen Morris

Thursday, 2nd October, at 7 p.m., was another successful poetry evening for the Maltese Poets Association. The venue chosen was the Razzett tal-Markiz Mallia Tabone, Mosta, Malta, and this thanks to the Mosta Philantropic and Talent Association and President Joe Bartolo.
MPA's Secretary, Charles Magro, led the evening, while President, Alfred Massa, gave his habitual discourse to those present. Special guest was poet and artist, Stephen Morris, from England (see: Vice-President, Patrick Sammut, introduced Morris by reading a short biography. Later, Sammut also interviewed Morris and asked him about the themes he writes about and the poetic forms he uses.

Members of the MPA had more than a chance to read their poetry in both Maltese and English. Stephen Morris read and even acted some of his verse, discussing love, religion and politics.
Those present had the opportunity to see some of the Holocaust paintings of Morris and some examples of visual-poetry, directly from some of his past publications.
Stephen Morris expressed his satisfaction with the way he was greeted by the MPA members, attendance and venue chosen.
Stephen Morris will be meeting sixth form students from De La Salle College next Monday, 6th October, 7 p.m. Those interested are invited to attend.