POETRY

Għerq umli

Għerq umli l-patata.
Ma tonfoħx mielsa fuq iz-zokk
bħall-frott irqiq.

Ħawħa mhijiex
li kulħadd biha jitgħaxxaq:
Pompadour fost il-frott.

Tismen mill-matmura ta’ taħt l-art il-patata,
imsoqqija mill-indewwa.

Mhix il-frotta ta’ ġnien l-Għeden…
Qatt ma kienet it-tuffieħa tad-deheb
li qata’ Erkole
mill-ġnien tal-Esperidi.

Mill-Perù ġejja l-patata,
mill-iġbla tal-Andes fejn jisseqqer il-kondor,
mill-qċaċet ta’ Machu Picchu,
minn ma’ djul il-Wied Imqaddes
imsoqqi mix-xmara Urubamba.

Ma tonfoħx mielsa fuq iz-zokk
bħall-frott irqiq…

Għerq umli l-patata.

 

A humble tuber

The potato is but a humble tuber.
It does not breathe softly upon a branch
like small fruit.

It is not a peach,
a joy to everyone,
a pompadour among fruits.

It grows stout in the wealthy underground,
doused in dampness.

It is not a fruit from the Garden of Eden…

It never was the golden apple
picked by Hercules
in the garden of Hesperides.

The potato comes from Peru,
from the Andes mountains
under the watchful eye of the condor,
from the summits of Machu Picchu,
along the edges of the Sacred Valley
watered by the river Urubamba.

It does not breathe softly upon a branch
like small fruit…

The potato is but a humble tuber.

Translated from the Maltese by Claudia Gauci