Merħba, a poem of hospitality is a narrative, musical homage to the unfailing and unconditional hospitality and warmth that welcome travellers the world over, despite the tragedies and hardships lived by families and communities on a daily basis. It is at once a celebration and a lamentation of our colourful, shrinking planet and of our common yet conflicting humanity.
Composed in 2009, the Merħba poem was part of an exploration combining Maltese verse with a wider variety of tongues, as a means to continue stretching beyond personal expression and to welcome and reconcile a plurality of close and distant voices. The diverse languages weaved into the poetry are not intended as mere ‘ingredients’ or exotic decoration, but as a living presence of the peoples that speak them.
Merħba, a poem of hospitality was awarded the Grand Prize of the United Planet Writing Contest in September 2009.
Read the English adaptation of Merħba
Listen to an early performance of the poem at d:qliq, Luxembourg
italiano (Angelo Petrelli & Antoine Cassar)
español (Carmen Herrera & Antoine Cassar)
français (Carmen Herrera & Barthelemy Gueret)