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Dun Karm Psaila
Birth: Oct. 18, 1871
Zebbug
Western, Malta
Death: Oct. 13, 1961
San Giljan
Northern Harbour, Malta

National Poet of Malta. Dun Karm Psaila, sometimes called "The Bard of Malta" or "The Chaucer of Malta", was born in Żebbuġ and after entering the diocesan seminary, he studied philosophy and theology at the Royal University of Malta. Ordained priest in 1894, between 1895 and 1921, he taught various subjects at the named seminary, including Italian, Latin, English, arithmetic, geography, cosmography, Church history and Christian archaeology. In 1921, he was appointed assistant librarian of the National Library of Malta and two year later, director of circulating libraries, a post which he held until his retirement in 1936. When Albert V. Laferla, then director of primary schools in Malta, wanted to have an anthem which could be sung by students in Malta's schools, he asked Dun Karm in 1921 to compose some verses to a music score composed by Colonel Robert Samut. "The Innu Malti" was thus written from Dun Karm's end, being sung for the first time in 1923. In 1941, it was officially designated the national anthem, a status confirmed by the Maltese independence constitution in 1964. One of the founding members of the "Għaqda tal-Kittieba tal-Malti", on the death of Ġużè Muscat Azzopardi in 1927, he was elected its president, serving later as editor of its official organ, "Il-Malti", carrying out these functions until 1942 when he was nominated honorary president for life. Granted a D. Litt. honoris causa by the Royal University of Malta in 1945 for his contribution to Maltese literature, the first time such an honour was granted by the named University, a year later he was awarded the Ġużè Muscat Azzopardi Gold Medal. Queen Elizabeth II named him Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1956, and a year later, the Maltese Government issued him an ex-gratia pension in recognition of his services to Maltese literature. A man who often found poetic expression in his solitude, which was eventually accompanied by a high degree of spiritual balance, his poetry reflects a background of village life with an atmosphere of family feelings, portraying the Maltese countryside with a perspective imagination. The spiritual crisis in "Il-Jien u lil hinn Minnu", is analyzed in universal human terms that illuminate man's existence and insist on the inexplicability of the relations between God and Man, except for the latter's absolute acceptance of the former's hidden power. A.J. Arberry translated about thirty seven of Dun Karm's poems in English; Father Ġużè Delia SJ., translated "Il-Vjatku" in Spanish and Laurent Ropa translated "Il-Jien u lil hinn Minnu" in French. It was Ropa who in 1935 called Dun Karm a "national poet" in an article entitled "Malta et sa littérature" which appeared in the 'La Grande Revue' printed in Tunis. Dun Karm's writings also include "Żewġ Anġli: Ineż u Emilja" and a dictionary compiled between 1947 and 1955, published in three volumes under the title "Dizzjunarju Ingliż u Malti". Passing away only one week short of his ninetieth birthday at the Blue Sisters hospital in Saint Julians, his remains lie buried in a chapel which he had constructed in his lifetime in his native Żebbuġ. Busts commemorate him in Żebbuġ and the National Library in Valletta, while a life size monument in his memory stands prominently in St. Anne's Street in Floriana. (bio by: Eman Bonnici) 
 
Burial:
Sacred Heart of Jesus Cemetery
Zebbug
Western, Malta
Plot: Dun Karm Chapel.
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Eman Bonnici
Record added: Sep 06, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29611682
Dun Karm Psaila
Added by: Eman Bonnici
 
Dun Karm Psaila
Added by: Eman Bonnici
 
Dun Karm Psaila
Added by: Eman Bonnici
 
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