Artistic webzine on migration, borders, human rights

Pass / Passeport / Passport

A short, sharp poem by Maltese author Immanuel Mifsud, translated into the four languages of Le monde n’est pas rond: Luxembourgish, German (both trad. Francis Kirps), French (trad. Elizabeth Grech), and English (trad. Antoine Cassar). From the collection Fid-Dar ta’ Clara (At Clara’s Place), 1998.

photo by Sheila Juan Franco

photo by Sheila Juan Franco


ech hunn en an d’Mier gehält, dee Pass
ech hu gesinn, wéi d’Tënt vem Stempel zerlaf ass
wéi sech d’Säiten zerrappt hun

mä mäi Gesiicht huet fir déi éischte Kéier gelaacht


ich warf ihn ins Meer, diesen Pass,
ich sah, wah die Tinte des Stempels zerlief
wie die Seiten sich zerrissen haben

aber mein Gesicht hat zum ersten Mal gelacht


je l’ai jeté à la mer mon passeport
j’ai vu l’encre couler
les pages se déchirer

mais mon visage a souri pour la première fois


I threw my passport to the sea
I saw the ink run
the pages tear

but my face smiled for the first time

Immanuel Mifsud‘s poetry appears in many anthologies, including New European Poets (Graywolf Press) and The World Record (Bloodaxe Books). Mifsud was awarded the EU Prize of Literature in 2011 for In the Name of the Father (and of the Son), a part-essay, part-memoir on fatherhood. Nadja Mifsud’s French translation will be published by Gallimard in 2015.

Sheila Juan Franco‘s artistic photographs have been exhibited in Europe, Cuba, China and the USA. The above photo is taken from her series Algo parecido jamás será igual (Something similar will never be the same).

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