Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Four Unpublished Poems— Elizabeth Grech

Aug 1, 2023 | Poetry | 0 comments

TRANSLATED FROM THE MALTESE BY IRENE MANGION

The Path 

It is there,

closer than you ever thought.

Seek it out patiently.

Do not rush.

Fate has its own clock.

You need to stop,

prick up your ears, feel,

touch, maybe.

 

It is there,

in the silence that pervades all sound,

in that split second 

you lean into yourself,

nothing but 

you and your breath.

 

It may be shrouded

in mist

but the next steps

are already in sight

waiting for you

to trace 

your path

and glean

that other half

of your soul.

 


Languor 

Let me be the sea

you wade into,

the dry salt chiseled into your skin,

the map of that lake

bubbling in your blood,

the volcano woken by your tremors,

the wind tousling

your iron hair,

the fragrance of almond mingling

with every breath you expel, 

as the reddening sky welcomes

this languorous southern day.

 


Dwelling place

Your voice

carries the scent of soil and leaves

and clay slopes

washed by rainfall.

The sweet smell of the sun

brimming over ripe figs

caper blossom

and bitter almond flowers

unfurling.

 

Your voice is the sound of twilight

heralding new horizons

your voice

a spectrum of marine blues

billowing from my rock 

to yours.

 

Your voice brings home

the silence carved

by your absence.

 

Your voice,

my only dwelling place.

 


Sun and moon 

Come here, I’ve made room for you

let us contemplate the galaxies

that unfold between our bodies

as they mingle in astral alchemy,

enamoured with infinity.

Aching for life,

these gurgling waters rush

between one orbit and another,

embodying all that we are and will become

in the days that burgeon

between sun and moon.

 


Also, read a Malayalam story by M. Rajeev Kumar, translated into English by K. M. Ajir Kutty, and published in The Antonym


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Elizabeth Grech

Elizabeth Grech

Elizabeth Grech is a self-taught translator and works with various NGOs and artistic organisations. She has also translated several contemporary Maltese poets into French. Many of her translations have been published. Her own poetry has appeared in literary journals or anthologies in different languages (English, Italian, Albanian and Greek). Her first poetry collection bejn baħar u baħar was published by Merlin Publishers (Malta) in February 2019. The Italian translation Terre sospese by Virginia Monteforte and Massimo Barilla was published by Capire Edizioni (Forlì, Italy) in August 2019. Translated by Irene Mangion, the English version will be published by Paperwall Publishers (Mumbai) in the coming months.

Irene Mangion

Irene Mangion

Irene Mangion was born in Malta to a German mother and Maltese father. After completing her studies in languages and translation, Irene worked as both an in-house and freelance translator in the UK, Spain, France and Belgium. Upon moving back to Malta in 2013, she took up literary translation. Her translations of novels, poetry collections, plays and short stories have been published in Malta and France. Her work has also featured in literary journals and on digital platforms and has been read at various literary festivals. Irene translates mostly between Maltese, English and French, but also from German, Italian and Spanish. She lives in Bormla, Malta.

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