The Play of Waves by Immanuel Mifsud, trans. by Maurice Riordan
The Play of Waves is a collection of poems written over the period of five years by Malta's most distinguished poet, Immanuel Mifsud. It falls into six sections: the first consists of mainly lyrical poems; the second explores mental instability and the fluidity of the Self; the third is a sequence of travel poems; the fourth focuses on the dialectic of body-spirit; the fifth consists of poems about sex and sexuality; and the sixth and final section is a short cycle about Medusa. Throughout all six sections, the theme of 'waiting' runs as a leitmotiv - waiting at airports, at the psychiatric clinic, at railway stations, sex-workers waiting for clients, lonely people waiting for imaginary lovers.
This is a powerful yet tender collection from a writer whose name may be familiar as winner of the European Union Prize for Literature in 2011 but whose unique poetic voice is little-known outside Malta.