‘Tislima lil Kristu Sidna: Quddiem il-Kurċifiss’ ta’ Oliver Friggieri
Publisher: Reliġjon u Ħajja
Size: 210 mm x 170 mm
Amongst the many poems written by Oliver Friggieri (1947–2020), one fine gem is, ‘Tislima lil Kristu Sidna’ (‘Greetings to Christ our Lord’). This is a spiritual poem in which the poet communicates in an intense manner with the Crucifix. In Jesus on the cross, Friggieri sees a symbol of suffering that paradoxically soothes and offers a redemptive power, and a mystery that provides meaning to everybody’s life and humanity’s history.
The publishing house ‘Reliġjon u Ħajja’ acknowledges the importance of this poem, and hence the main reason for publishing it in an illustrated edition. Interspersed with Friggieri’s verses, the readers find more than twenty-five classical paintings that narrate the Passion of Christ; together they form a unique artistic and literary voyage.
Maybe few are aware that Friggieri loved to sketch, amongst which feature several crucifixes. The readers can find a section dedicated to a broad selection of crucifixes illustrated by the poet himself, some of which are being published for the first time.
Dr Terence Portelli, an academic within the Faculty of Education, wrote a detailed critical study of this poem by Friggieri. His chapter provides an in-depth analysis of: the poet’s affinity to Christian Existentialist philosophy, the story behind this particular poem, its main themes and imagery, and the many intricate stylistic and rhetorical figures. Portelli also offers an interpretation of the illustrations with which the Friggieri embellished this poem, and finally, he identifies the central ideas that Friggieri distilled and selected over the years as his personal moral and spiritual legacy to the Maltese nation.
The book can be bought from the publishing house website and all leading book shops.