by Alan Dent

Immanuel Mifsud was born in Malta in 1967. He teaches at the University of Malta and is considered one of his country's most original writers. His work is full of references which may be drawn, partly, from island life: water, sea, sky, rain, dust, grit, wind, blood:

I realised from the rough water in your dark eyes, 
from your hesitation in the presence of flowers, 
from the crash of the sea whispering in your mouth... 
that you are one more sweet child of the wind. 

Clear from these lines that Mifsud knows how to put a poem together.

He writes mainly here about private experience, sometimes of loss, sometimes of love, sometimes of the erotic. His poems work by suggestion and allusion and they place human experience, even the most intimate or distressing, at the heart of an impersonal physical world which provides the sensual ground of our imagining of reality. He seems to want to recall the reader always to this human status as part of physical world which existed long before us, gave rise to us, and will see us disappear. The impersonality of this world is a foil to the personal nature of human life. By juxtaposing the two Mifsud reveals the personal in sharp.

And there is one poem which takes us into the urban-modern.

In the electronic age every nutcase
with a laptop is writing a masterpiece. 
They spend their nights locked up in chat rooms 
and emerge with red eyes and love poems.

The Penniless Press