I found this bit of gorgeousness
, a blog I've only just started reading.Antoine Cassar
writes in five different languages, but rather than write one poem in one language, he has attempted to "braid" all five together into single poems, called Muzajik or Mosaics. The results are intriguing. The first and third link will take you to some of his poems, and while you're there I'd recommend listening to the posted recordings. I've found, in my brief encounter with them, that the different languages gel well with each other and form very interesting poetry. He's woven the sounds of the different languages together wonderfully in the poems I've heard so far (Go listen
In the Chimera piece(first link), Cassar says:
"...the mosaics are more than a mere linguistic challenge. Having lived in five different European countries and languages, I find it difficult to decide which tongue I feel more at home with. Although I still write monolingual poetry occasionally (particularly in Maltese), I believe that selecting one, or even two, would mean sacrificing others, and to a certain extent, I feel that making a choice would also imply a political decision. Why the fixation with one as opposed to many?"
I think that's what immediately appealed to me. Being multilingual, one tends to code-switch - or at least want
to code-switch - quite a bit, and it is sometimes frustrating to have to limit oneself to just one language when another would fit a particular situation so much better. Given that there are probably more bilinguals and multilinguals in the world than monolinguals, it is worth asking why the majority has to limit itself for the sake of the minority. (And the over-generalized answer, probably, is that the minority is more powerful or influential - neither of which is to be construed as pejorative.)
There are more things to address here, not the least of which is Cassar's project to include languages he does not speak into the mosaics, but as the project is, as far as I can tell, still gathering steam, I expect there will be more opportunities to do so. In the mean time, I'm just going to go enjoy what there is.