Aa Island State Between Home and the Train Station: The Economy of Travel in the Poetry of Dun Karm and Oliver Friggieri Adrian Grima is an assistant lecturer in Maltese at the G.F. Abela Junior College and at the Faculty of Arts, where he lectures on metaphor and on the mediterranean in Maltese literature. He has read papers on Maltese literature and the Mediterranean in Malta, Reggio Calabria, Palermo, and Rome, and he will be reading a paper on the journey metaphor in Maltese poetry at the ACLA annual conference at Yale University (USA) in February, 2000. His paper, "A Village for an Island: Malta" in Frans Sammut's novel Samuraj appeared in the first issue of Humanitas. In 1999 he published a book of poetry in Maltese, It-Trumbettier, with English translations. Two of the poems have been included in an anthology of poetry of the Mediterranean published by Mesogea.
AN ISLAND STATE BETWEEN HOME AND THE TRAIN STATION: The Economy of Travel in the Poetry of Dun Karm and Oliver Friggieri
In the poetry of Dun Karm, the protagonist never ventures too far from the physical and psychological point of reference of the home. This is not the asphyxiating home of the aging poet, but his childhood home, the spiritual space he associates almost exclusively with his mother. This centripetal movement reflects Dun Karm's religious convictions and his 'conservative' ideas about Malta's national identity. The journey metaphor in Dun Karm's poetry, is then compared to Oliver Friggieri's post-Independence 'travel' poems. Friggieri's poetic journeys are apparently without end, in constant search for a destination, for meaning: the elusive young woman is a reminder of the elusive semantics of his existence. In this context, the theme of the voyage also raises the question of literary discourse itself. But beneath this apparent sense of loss of the individual and Malta, there may be also be an idealized landmark guiding the seemingly homeless traveller.