Of po­etry and hunt­ing

Ka``a: a col­lec­tion of po­ems

Malta Independent - - BOOKS -

Au­thor: Pa­trick J. Sam­mut Pub­lisher: Self pub­lished, 2016 Ex­tent: 71 pp.

Al­fred Palma

A keen an­i­mal lover and strongly against all forms of cru­elty to an­i­mals, I couldn’t but wel­come this lit­tle book of po­ems, edited by poet Pa­trick J. Sam­mut, with con­tri­bu­tions from an­other 15 well-es­tab­lished Mal­tese po­ets.

Kaċċa is a po­etry book with a dif­fer­ence; it is the no­ble and con­certed ef­fort of a num­ber of po­ets against the in­sen­sate abuse of hunt­ing and the ul­ti­mate blast­ing of some of God’s most beau­ti­ful crea­tures off the sky, sim­ply for the plea­sure of de­struc­tion!

I have al­ways ab­horred all the so called ‘sport’ which in­volves the killing and tor­ture of an­i­mals and birds, be it fox-hunt­ing, bear-bait­ing, bull­fights and, no less, abu­sive and ir­re­spon­si­ble bird-hunt­ing. Such ‘sport’ is ut­terly de­spi­ca­ble, it causes un­told suf­fer­ing to th­ese in­no­cent crea­tures, sim­ply to sat­isfy man’s prim­i­tive cruel ten­den­cies.

Haply, my feel­ings have been shared by poet Pa­trick J. Sam­mut and the 15 other po­ets in Kaċċa, which is not just a col­lec­tion of po­ems, but in­deed one con­certed heart­felt cry in protest for the atro­cious way birds are very of­ten ir­re­spon­si­bly blasted out of the sky dur­ing the hunt­ing sea­son.

The Preface by Sam­mut ex­pounds clearly the pur­pose of this col­lec­tion: that of rais­ing aware­ness to the suf­fer­ings that so many beau­ti­ful birds go through as they fol­low their nat­u­ral in­stincts across the sky; the sense­less killing just for the fun of it, the ir­re­spon­si­ble be­hav­iour of ego­tis­tic hunters, who are ready to defy the law to sat­isfy their prim­i­tive in­stincts...

Here, po­etry waxes at its most lyri­cal; all 16 po­ets, Mario At­tard, Mario Az­zopardi, Jonathan Balzan, Ġorġ Borg, Paul P. Borg, Stephen Cachia, Carmel G. Cauchi, Al­fred Grech, John Mal­lia, Al­fred Massa, Charles Mif­sud, Pa­trick J. Sam­mut, Salv Sam­mut, Mark Schem­bri, Carmel Sci­cluna and Omar Se­guna, in their own per­sonal and var­ied po­etic style, ut­terly con­demn the hunt­ing abuse in praise of all the birds that ul­ti­mately come to a mis­er­able end at the hands of ir­re­spon­si­ble hunters. Th­ese po­ets here are united in one big cho­rus of con­dem­na­tion which the author­i­ties my over­look, but which is nev­er­the­less a truth to be reck­oned with, a truth that only po­etry can ex­press.

Be­sides the po­etic con­tri­bu­tions, all of them del­i­cately beau­ti­ful and sen­si­tive to a de­gree, the book also con­tains a short bi­og­ra­phy of each poet and a good num­ber of graphic black and white il­lus­tra­tions by Hi­lary Spi­teri, who has also seen to the book’s set­ting and the el­e­gant cover, which fur­ther en­hances this col­lec­tion, a must for all the den­i­gra­tors of hunt­ing in its worst forms and the lovers of very good lyri­cal po­etry.

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