Elizabeth Grech (Malta/France) is a poet and translator and she works with various NGOs, cultural and artistic organisations. She has translated several contemporary Maltese poets and writers into French. Many of her translations have been published in book form and in literary journals. Her own poetry has appeared in a number of collections and reviews in different languages (English, Italian, Albanian and Greek). Her first poetry collection “bejn baħar u baħar” was published by Merlin Publishers (Malta) in February 2019. The Italian translation “Terre sospese” by Virginia Monteforte and Massimo Barilla was published by Capire Edizioni (Forlì, Italy) in August 2019.









All these words floating in my head:

for each and every one of them

I shall have to dive,

wring them like a rag,

hang them out to dry,

until they crackle

and shrivel

under the scorching August sun.

One by one

I shall lay them out

on the damp yard tiles,

bend over them

and listen to what they have to say

before the first rains come

smudging them all

like a piece of paper in a pocket

forgotten and washed.



These Walls


These walls

stained by the wind,

pock-marked by memories

of all hues

know me from head to toe,

inside out.


In their rusty markings I find solace,

in the scarlet blemishes I hide

the last traces

of shame:

an ancient guilt

I once buried here.


Roots of the Earth



Slowly and gracefully

the earth’s roots crept up my feet

and wound themselves around my legs.

I felt the yawn of petals within me,

the tickle of soil between my toes.

I shall have to weather the sting of waves

and the bite of gales

but I will not budge:

my boughs may be stretched

but Earth will keep me grounded.




Dal-kliem kollu jgħum ġo moħħi

se jkolli nogħdos għalih

kelma kelma,

nagħsru bħal ċarruta,

nonxru bil-labar tal-inxir,

nistennieh jinxef,



fix-xemx tikwi t'Awwissu,

imbagħad nifirxu

waħda waħda

fuq il-madum imtappan tal-bitħa,

inressaq widinti lejh

forsi nisma’ xi jrid jgħidli

qabel tiġi xxarrbu l-ewwel xita

u ċċallsu,

bħal karta maħsula

f'xi but.




Dal-ħitan imċappsa


imtaqqba b’tifkiriet

ta’ kull lewn,

jafuni ta’ taħt fuq,

ta’ ġewwa barra.


Fl-isfar tagħhom nitwennes,

fl-aħmar indeffes

l-aħħar traċċi

ta’ ħtija

ta’ mistħija qadima



Għeruq l-art



Inkiss inkiss

mill-pali ta’ saqajja,

ixxebilku ma’ riġlejja

għeruq l-art.

Il-petali ttewbu fija.

Ħassejt it-trab iħokk bejn subgħajja.

II-mewġ inaqqarni,

Ir-riħ jiekol minni.

Imma, hawn se nibqa’, soda,

illum il-friegħi jitmattru

imma l-art iżżommni magħha.


Translated from Maltese to English by Irene Mangion


Irene Mangion was born in Malta to a German mother and Maltese father. She studied foreign languages and translation in France and Germany, completing her MA in Translation Studies at the University of Montpellier. For many years, she worked as an in-house or freelance translator in the UK, France, Spain, Luxembourg and Belgium. Back in her home country, she has had the pleasure of translating the work of several outstanding Maltese authors, poets and playwrights. Irene translates mostly between Maltese, English and French, but also from German, Italian and Spanish. She lives in Bormla, Malta.