The Malta Independent 19 April 2024, Friday
View E-Paper

Book review: A secular Exultet

Noel Grima Sunday, 18 February 2024, 08:40 Last update: about 3 months ago

'Tajr tal-Karti'
Author: Alfred Grech
Publisher: Gozo 2022
Pages: 226

 

Unfortunately this book does not refer, except fleetingly on the back cover, to the other volumes of poetry issued by this author. I know that I had contributed to review some other volumes, at least three - Erbatax-il Vers, Imwejgiet and Petali f'Wicc l-Ilma.

In this latest book, Grech continues to distance himself from the Gozo environment, though this is constantly present under the surface.

ADVERTISEMENT

Most of the poems are addressed to a second, unnamed, person, a woman to whom the author is attracted. But despite the effort of both, their relationship never seems to take off.

Besides this personal and intimate level the author is deeply worried by what is happening in the country.

As he says in Gagga:

Din hi l-gagga li sawwarna

Din hi s-sodda tas-serhan.

Ivvintaw mill-gdid ir-rota

Izda kollox kien duhhan.

 

Din l-imbierka t'inflazjoni

Illi maghha ma tlahhaqx

Hija l-mostru tas-suq hieles

Pjaga din, ma tinghalaqx.

 

Din l-imbierka t'inflazjoni

Bdew joghlew il-prezzijiet

Ghalxejn bassru l-bosta esperti

Qatt ma sservi l-paga bdiet.

 

Bil-ftahir li dejjem tikber

Dana kollu bzar fl-ghajnejn,

Dan il-gid u dan il-hela

Staqsi ftit, u dan minn fejn?

 

Nafu zgur li qeghdin nghixu

Bil-jiem taghna maghdudin

Kolp ta' bahar, suq jikkraxxja

Jaqa' kollox, x'wahda din!

 

Issa qalu m'hawnx bizzejjed

Lil min jistghu jimpjegaw

U biex tkompli ddur ir-rota

Barranin qed jivvintaw.

 

Izda din l-ekonomija

Li trid tikber, iffissaw,

U tintefah bhal buzzieqa

Ghad tinfaqa' 'ssa taraw!

 

U nghid jien f'dal-pajjiz ckejken

Daqs qaqocca ffullat

X'ghaqal hu li lill-barrani

Taghti sehem x'hin kollox fgat?

 

But the best poem in this anthology, in my opinion, is Exultet. Originally Exultet is the hymn sung by the deacon in the Easter night celebration, here of course written from a secular point of view.

Ha tifrah din l-art li xi darba konna nghidu

li hi l-isbah gawhra fil-kuruna tas-sultan,

ghax issa nizlu fuqha bhal isqra

l-ghasafar tal-htif, li jahtfu l-gid bil-ponnijiet:

il-ftit li baqghu jonfhu l-bziezaq

tal-ekonomija tas-sapun.

Ha jifirhu l-ministri u ta' madwarhom

li jistghu jitpaxxew u jiftahru

li qed jaqdu 'l alla tal-hala, taz-zeblih ghal kull decenza,

tal-bini bla razan, u tal-kollox jghodd imbasta ghall-flus,

tal-ekstravaganza u tal-affluwenza,

ghax issa l-Maltin lanqas ghadhom iridu jhammgu jdejhom,

lanqas iridu jahsbu b'mohhom u lanqas m'ghandhom ghalxejn

ghax hemm min jahseb ghalihom.

Hallu t-trombi tas-salvazzjoni

Idamdmu, jirrumblaw, jirbumbjaw

u jifqghu l-widnejn li qatt ma semghu l-hsejjes tal-muturi,

u jidhlu f'kull rokna fejn tista' tmur tistrieh

ghall-kwiet jew tikkuntempla;

ha jirbumbjaw u jikkaccjaw il-qawwa tas-sidien il-godda,

li jahtfu, li jhammgu u li jeqirdu

bl-iskuza tal-izvilupp u tal-ekonomija dejjem tikber.

Ifirhu, ha tifrah l-art ghaliex il-glorja

qed teghreq gewwa fiha u qed theggeg

id-dawl tas-sultan setghani taghha.

Ha jifirhu l-irkejjen kollha

ghaliex jaghrfu t-tmiem tad-dwejjaq u tad-dalma.

Ha tifrah din l-art, l-omm li tatna isimha,

Imdawwla kif inhi mid-dawl fuqani

li gej minn kredu trijonfanti tal-progress

tal-izvilupp u tar-regolamentazzjoni.

Tiftahar illi kienet sahansitra minn tal-ewwel

li tibdel ligijiet u taqleb ta' taht fuq kull ordni naturali,

gerarkiji, troni u dominazzjonijiet,

u tispicca biex tibla' l-hmerijiet minn kull fejn jigu.

Halli l-qarnita ta' subghajha twal u invizibbli

tal-kilba, tifga', tnaqqar, issewwes u tahtaf

kull bicca roqgha art vergni

fost in-nghas u t-telqa ta' poplu lluppjat

aljenat bix-xbihat virtwali

aktar milli bin-naqxiet tat-tafal.

Ghalhekk, gheziez hbieb, li bhali

tinsabu gharkupptejkom quddiem il-qawwa u l-glorja

ta' setgha mohbija

li tiggranfa u tisloh u tifqa'

l-ahhar gheliem tal-helsien fid-dieher,

sejhu mieghi s-setgha ta' dan alla gdid

li lili ghogbu jghoddni ghalkemm ma jisthoqqlix

fost il-leviti.

Isawwab fija d-dawl bla dellijiet

tal-illuminazzjoni l-gdida

ta' socjeta inkluziva, fejn titnehha d-distinzjoni,

kull diskriminazzjoni, u kollox livellat

ghax-xejn mhu xejn u fejn kulhadd

irid jilbes maskra wahda;

biex jiena wkoll nista' nghanni

t-tifhir ta' din ix-xemgha.


  • don't miss