1909:  Dun Karm’s mother, Lunzjata Pisani, whom he loved so much, died at the age of 78.

1910:  The church authorities in Malta brought Cardinal La Fontaine to Malta to check the situation of the local church. The Cardinal wasn’t very happy with the fact that lecturers at the Seminary lived and slept in their own rooms at the Seminary, and Dun Karm had to find an alternative place to stay. During this time, the poet was very lonely, away from his village, relatives and friends where he felt he was “midfun ħaj” (buried alive) in a house at 51, Triq l-Ifran, in Valletta where he stayed for 26 years.

11th January 1912:  After a number of meetings with Mons. Paul Galea and Ġużč Muscat Azzopardi, who shared with Dun Karm the idea of issuing a periodical in Maltese named “Il-Ħabib” (The Friend), Dun Karm also issued his first poem. Not knowing what to write, he kneeled in front of a statue of Our Lady he had in his room and prayed “Dear mother, show me what to write. I want to start with a poem for you.”  This led to his writing the beautiful poem named Quddiem Xbiha tal-Madonna. (In front of a statue of Our Lady)

September 1912:  Dun Karm went abroad for the third time, this time to attend a Eucharistic Congress in the city of Vienna, Austria.

April 1913:  In occasion of a Eucharistic Congress held in Malta, Dun Karm was asked by Maestro Ġużeppi Caruana to write a hymn for this occasion. This was to be the hymn chanted during mass in many Maltese churches T’Adoriam Ostia Divina or Nadurawk, ja Ħobż tas-Sema. The hymn was so successful that the bishops attending this congress spread it throughout the world and was translated to various languages. It was translated in Maltese by Dun Karm himself in 1924.
May 1914:  The first collection of fifteen poems in Maltese by Dun Karm called “L’euuel uard jew ġemgħa tal poeżijiet li ctibt bi lsien tagħna” (The fist roses or poems that I wrote in our own language) in the series “Sensiela tal-Mogħdija taż-Żmien” (A series of writings for leisure) series no. 140, published by Alfons Marija Galea between 1899 and 1915 which was soled to three thousand readers. Alfons Marija Galea was a great benefactor of the poet, especially when the latter had financial problems.

1915: resulting from the solitude in Valletta, Dun Karm wrote the poems Lill-Kanarin Tiegħi, Il-Vjatku and Żjara lil Ġesů.

1919:  In a letter sent by Dun Karm to the Archbishop, he asked for permission to stop teaching and get a pension, but this request was not granted.

September 1920:  He issued 25 other poems, to show that the Maltese language, when used appropriately can be as poetic as any other language. He called this book,  “Uard ihor jew gabra ohra ta poezijiet bil Malti” which he dedicated to his mother.

1920/1:  After a number of meetings and writings appearing in the review Il-Ħabib (the friend) in favour of the use and appreciation of the Maltese language and the use of a single grammatical structure the association for Maltese writers (l-Għaqda tal-Kittieba tal-Malti) was created. Ġużč Muscat Azzopardi was its first President and F.S. Caruana was secretary. A commission was chosen, made up of five people, one of whom was Dun Karm. This commission had to issue its thoughts about the Maltese alphabet and grammar. In 1921, the poet wrote a poem to commemorate the new Maltese Constitution which he called Lil ħuti Maltin (to my Maltese brothers and sisters) and this was only spread in 1939 due to fear that the poet would be attacked politically.


31st May 1921:  He started to work as an assistant librarian in the National Library in Valletta.

1922/1923: On the melody provided by Maestro Robert Sammut and encouraged by the director of elementary government schools Dr. A.V. Laferla, Dun Karm wrote the Maltese Anthem, which is nothing but a prayer to God. This prayer is built upon verses of eleven syllables each (hendecasyllabic). It was sung for the first time on the 3rd of February 1923 during a literary concert organized by the Għaqda tal-Kittieba tal-Malti in the Manoel theatre. Further on, the hymn was also played for the first time by the King’s Own band on the National Day of 1936. In February of 1941, the Maltese National Anthem was officially declared.

1923: Dun Karm was appointed Director of Circulating Libraries and also examiner of Italian Matriculation and other subjects.

1927:  Due to the death of Ġużč Muscat Azzopardi, which took place on the 4th of August 1927 (see also the elegy written by Dun Karm on his honour, published a year after), who was the first president of the Għaqda tal-Kittieba tal-Malti, Dun Karm was also elected president of the same group and director of the review Il-Malti.  From this year on, the group changed its name to ‘L-Akkademja tal-Malti’ (the Maltese Accademy).

1930:  The popular poem by Dun Karm Il-Għanja tar-Rebħa was translated to French.

1930:  In order to show the strength of the Maltese language, Dun Karm translated the opra by Ugo Foscolo I Sepolcri. This was finished two years after  in 1932, and published  in 1936.

1932:  the poem Otia Aestiva puts some light on the fact that in summer, Dun Karm spent some time in Saint Paul’s Bay. In fact the first verses of this poem gives a description of the house in which he lived; “żewġ kmamar imdawlin, bitħa xemxija, Loġġa quddiem il-bieb, nitfa ta’ kċina.” (two well lit rooms, a sunlit yard, a lodge in front of the door and a little kitchen). In the following years, he also spent some days in St. Julians. The reason behind this shift from St. Paul’s Bay to St. Julians, were mainly the following: the sudden death of a child of 10 months, Marija Galea Suchet, who lived next door (see poem Lil Marija). Another reason was the people’s gossiping about the fact that Dun Karm who was a priest, lived with his niece, Ġannina Pisani. A final reason was difficulty to travel from St. Paul’s Bay to Valletta every day, which in 1936 was quite chaenging.

1934:  Dun Karm published a study about the ballad Katrin ta’ l-Imdina by Dwardu Cachia (1858-1907). A year after, in 1935, he translated to Maltese the novel Gli angeli del Perdono by Domenico Caprile renaming it Ineż u Emilja.
3rd July 1936:  A note appeared on the Government paper that a Maltese dictionary was due to be issued in leaflets of sixteen pages a month. This work was issued by Dun Karm himself, with the help of other experts like F.S. Caruana, Ninu Cremona, Pietru Pawl Saydon, Ġużč Aquilina and others.

1936:  Dun Karm who lived in Valletta went to live in a new house in Sliema. At first, he was cared for by his niece Ġannina Pisani, but unluckily she died at the age of 38 years on the 15th of February 1937. The elegy dedicated to her Lil Ġannina Pisani, (to Gannina Pisani) shows what did loss meant to Dun Karm.


Production: Dun Karm Psaila Boys' Secondary School, Zebbug
Design: m7alpha Design Studios