The Malta Independent 2 December 2023, Saturday
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A mystic flight into the essence of poetry

Tuesday, 26 September 2023, 08:24 Last update: about 3 months ago

‘Solfeggi’. Author: Carmel Mallia. Pages: 90. Review: Alfred Palma

Dr Carmel Mallia is one of the major contributors to literature both in Malta and beyond its shores. He is an author of mettle and former president of the local Esperanto Society. Add to that the fact that he is hugely cultured and essentially a poet with a unique style of his own.

Besides various novels and other literary works, he has lately been very busy, further enhancing local literature with collections of poems rich in both beauty and literary value. Haply, he proceeds onwards undaunted with yet another collection of unforgettable poems: Solfeġġi, a 90-page book which is unique in style and form, a real musical romp into a world that is in itself a fantastic dream that one never wishes to wake up from.


The book is dedicated, and enhanced by a photo of Mallia's second wife, Josephine, to whom he gives an endearing tribute. Then the author goes into a mystic flight into the very essence of poetry, its powers, its essential beauty. He quotes various titan poets: Hugo, Maughan, Gray and others, and their roles in the embellishment of this noble art.

The poems then flow supreme: in Maltese, Italian, French and Esperanto. Many are original ones, others translations of the highest order, the author's reverence hovering musically over every verse.

The book closes with a number of addenda, containing various other poems in various languages besides a full information about Mallia's long and successful career as author and poet, his invaluable contribution to local literature and then away from our shores.

Indeed, a tribute to a man who has fully understood the essence of human nature, with all its grandeur and shortcomings and ultimately set them to music in what are decidedly solfeggios!

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