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(12th March 1955 / Victoria, Gozo)

Comments about Emmanuel George Cefai

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  • Daniel Brick (2/27/2014 2:25:00 AM)

    The five-line poem which begins THOSE VERSES WERE AS OF THE NIGHT/NOT OF THE DAWN could be a general summary of one major dimension of your POETRY, that is, it is a nocturnal vision rather than a daylight one. This suggests a whole range of consequences that your individual poems explore, for example, the symbolic passage of the barge in the first poem of yours which I read: a purely daylight consciousness could not do justice to such a poem; a night-inflected consciousness is required. I recently finished writing a long poem (200 lines) which reaches closure with these lines: I believed in another/life running parallel/to the world's. It is/written in the book of moonlight. Like many of yours, my lines are verses...of the night. Our two imaginations have found common ground in the night-realm.

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  • Daniel Brick (2/27/2014 12:57:00 AM)

    Your figure of the Poet Seer is one of my favorites! The Poet Seer makes only a brief appearance in THE NIGHT IS NEAR, a kind of cameo, but he affirms an attitude toward experience (later verified by the Angel) which is one of your recurring themes: each individual has a required journey to make, and s/he must provided their own knowledge, commitment and energy to complete it. This is not a community-based endeavor; it is an individual's responsibility to fulfill it. I think I'm reading the poem correctly in coming to this conclusion: If individuals shirk their responsibilities and sink into the mass of people, then the symbolic night will descend on humanity and blot it out. There's a choice to be made, and then a challenge to be met.

  • Daniel Brick (2/27/2014 12:37:00 AM)

    I like 'TIS GIVEN US TO ROAM THE EARTH very much, and thought about at length after several readings.There are two character types that roam the earth. The first one is the robust adventurer brimming with confidence, eagerness, and so charged with energy that it's spilling out of him/her. Tennyson's ULYSSES illustrates this type brilliantly. The other type includes your broken-hearted ghosts barely alive, caught between life and death, with no excess energy to spill. But their depleted condition makes their motion fleet and spontaneous since the slightest natural force can propel them. At least they can experience the freedom of movement, but they will never experience the accumulation of knowledge which enriches the first type. They only register a melancholy awareness of what they've lost, as the nightingale's song illustrates. Still, the measured cadence of your lines makes even this tragic vision an experience of beauty for the reader, who is neither an adventurer nor a ghost.

  • Daniel Brick (2/25/2014 9:18:00 AM)

    Introducing myself, Daniel J. Brick, of Minnesota, USA to Emmanuel George Cefai: Greetings, good sir, I discovered your poems recently as I was browsing in search of a true poet, whose poetry would animate both the night and my mind. And Voila I found your magnificent poem on the symbolic barge representing our common human fate in measured lines of stately rhythms and evocative images. I felt immediately at home in the world of your poem; I think I read it three times before I went to others. Everything I have read by you in the following days and nights has confirmed my first impression: You are a true poet which means besides individual poems of the highest quality, your writing conveys that special grace and depth that make lyric poetry one of our most precious human achievements. I have been keeping notes on my readings, especially of your remarkable POET SEER poems, and I will share my impressions with you very soon. Despite the physical distance which separates, I am confident we have much in common as poets and men. I want to open a dialogue with you through POEMHUNTER as we share our poems and our delight in POETRY. To be continued and amplified.

Ditty

Ah! Youth sweet youth!
When we much younger were
How clearer the vision stood
When we at the fields looked
Or trod the summer sea
With oars and paddled boats
Or else swam in low depths
And basked on the warm sand
In some half-hidden cove

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