‘There’s pain, love, happiness, and loss’

Poet Francesco Grech picks Elizabeth Grech’s book of poetry, titled Bejn Baħar u Baħar, as one of the best books he’s read recently.
Francesco Grech

My favourite book by another Maltese author: I don’t believe in having a favourite book. books are like us: they come and go at different periods of our life. One book may speak to you more today but not tomorrow, whilst another book may be irrelevant for you today but lifesaving in a couple of years. Other books are like life companions. Keeping this in mind, if I had to choose one of the recent books I read that hit home, it would be bejn baħar u baħar ta’ Elizabeth Grech. 

It’s about: This poetry collection is about beauty. The beauty of life in all its manifestations. There’s pain, love, happiness, and loss. 

The thing that most fascinates me about it is: The words. This may sound silly or obvious, but it’s true. The way Elizabeth Grech knits a poem together is like each word was always meant to be in that particular writing, in that particular verse, in that particular order. 

My favourite quote from it is: It would have to be a poem rather than a quote. The poem is called ‘għeruq l-art’ and I encourage you to read it!

If you could ask the author anything about it, what would it be? This would be about the poem on page 91. I’d ask her: When will the snow stop falling? So that the silence can speak.  

It’s helped shape my writing/thinking because: These types of collections are universal because they explore humanity in a profound way. They not only shape the reader, who perhaps is seeking comfort in shared experiences, but even help authors by challenging them in exploring the human experience further. If humanity understood that all of us live in a shared emotional and holistic experience, the world would surely be in a much better place. 
I’m currently working on: I can only say that I’m writing at the moment. For me, writing is very sporadic and, most of the time, I write to vent or to better understand what’s happening in our collective human experience.

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