The Malta Independent 22 October 2020, Thursday

After the turmoil

Noel Grima Wednesday, 9 September 2020, 11:22 Last update: about 2 months ago

‘L-ambjent li qeridna’ - Poeziji (2017 – 2020), Author: Carmel Scicluna; Publishers: Horizons / 2020; Pages: 152pp

This slim book, which includes poems written by the author between 2017 and this year, marks a departure, as I see it, from the deeply turbulent past of Ossessjoni (2013), which was echoed in the book of poems Il-kalci qieghed ifur (2017) which contained a section, Jasmina, on the author's obsession with an underage Syrian girl who he saves from her primitive father.

There are thankfully no echoes in this volume of that traumatic period.

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Nor could I find, to be sincere, any full treatment of the damage to the ecology, as the title seems to hint.

Once again, the author gives us plenty of cultural references and invites us to deepen our knowledge so as to understand the more obscure parts of his poems - Cesare Pavese, Jacques-Louis David, Camilo Jose Cela, Aeschylus - to give some examples.

There is a common theme running through many of the poems - a general dissatisfaction with the present situation of the world.

In the same general direction I would include his poem on the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the first such reference that I have seen in serious literature.

The volume ends with three contributions on the preceding book, almost an introduction to them by respected critics Dr Paul Xuereb, Therese Pace and Prof. Charles Briffa.


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