[LISTEN] De Profundis by Doreen Micallef

Nadia Mifsud Mutschler reads from De Profundis by Doreen Micallef

Poet Nadia Mifsud Mutschler reads two poems from Doreen Micallef’s collection De Profundis published in 1979 by Klabb Kotba Maltin.

The first short poem ‘Meditazzjoni’ opens the collection, while ‘De Profundis’, after which the book is named, is one of the major works of Doreen Micallef. Her poems originate from a complex personality that carries an excruciating pain, mostly due to the fact that she was born with a physical impairment that conditioned her life significantly. Her body is, more often than not, felt to be a recipient of pain. A pain that she aestheticises in her poems, as she records her own metaphorical inner journey through Limbo, Hell, Purgatory and Heaven, and the hope of a rebirth. Nourished by her deep solitude, her poems continually reflect a yearning for dialogue. Paradoxically, however, while Micallef is driven by a strong need to communicate, her message is seemingly inexpressible; she suffers and writes, writes and suffers.

About the author

Doreen Micallef stands out as one of few female writers associated with the Moviment Qawmien Letterarju and, more importantly, as a pioneer of the feminist thought in Maltese literature. She published three collections of poems: Fit-Triq tal-Empirew (1975), De Profundis (1979) and Kyrie (1980).

About the reader

Poet Nadia Mifsud Mutschler is a lover of the smell of sea, the streets of the Three Cities, the sound of the violoncello at night, the chirping of the birds at dawn, and when words escape her she turns to fabrics.

Nadia Mifsud Mutschler (Photo: Emma Mutschler)
Nadia Mifsud Mutschler (Photo: Emma Mutschler)

If you liked De Profundis, check out the following by Doreen Micallef:


Fit-Triq tal-Empirew



Wiċċ imb Wiċċ u drammi oħra

This episode is sponsored by the National Book Council.


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