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Title: Dun Karm, the national poet of Malta : a lyrical interpretation of life and citizenship
Authors: Friggieri, Oliver
Keywords: Poetry -- Criticism and interpretation
Patriotism -- Portrayals
Karm, Dun, 1871-1961 -- Criticism and interpretation
Issue Date: 1987
Citation: Friggieri, O. (1987). Dun Karm, the national poet of Malta : a lyrical interpretation of life and citizenship. Outrider, 2, 17-24
Abstract: Dun Karm Psaila, a humble and poor priest popularly and officially known as Dun Karm, is Malta's national poet and perhaps the island's most significant artist. He is the best interpreter of his country's ancient cultural heritage and identity. In 1961, the year of his death, Cambridge University Press paid tribute to the man with the publication of a volume comprising some of his more important works, Dun Karm Poet of Malta, edited by P. Grech and A.J. Alberry, a well-known Arabist. Professor Arberry had the opportunity of meeting him a few years before and was soon impressed by his creative and human merits. He sums up his judgment of the artist and the man, inseparable components of a unique complex personality, in the following paragraph: "When I met Dun Karm he had recently entered upon his eighty-seventh year. I found him a frail old man, but still in full possession of his great mental faculties . . . It seemed to me then that this was a poet of more than local importance; his art and his message must reach the world, to which they truly belonged ... I became increasingly convinced of his greatness." If Dun Karm is not sufficiently recognised outside Malta as a significant poet, this must be only due to the fact that from a certain point onwards in his life he decided to write almost exclusively in his mother tongue. His loyalty towards his small country, therefore, contributed a lot to his being recognised as the national poet, but equally ┬Ědenied him the international recognition he deserves as a highly refined poet. Dun Karm was born in October 1871 in a small village, Haz-Zebbug, which was later to feature as a microcosm of the whole bland in his poetry. His bumble rural origin never played second fiddle to other which later naturally prevailed in his brilliant career as an intellectual The historical and cultural identity of his country, which he sought to discover and to sublimate poetically as well as to define in a typically romantic manner, provided him with a secure point of reference in the treatment of any other universal theme.
ISSN: 0813-5886
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacArtMal

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