‘Larinġa/Orange’ by Maria Grech Ganado

This poem is from a collection I picked up at a poetry showcase as a teenager, at a time when I was desperately filtering the local literary landscape for writers I could feel an affinity with. Being bilingual, this meant writers who also wrote and were published in English. Maria Grech Ganado is one of those writers I discovered then, and whose writing has stayed with me always. ‘Orange’ is published alongside its Maltese equivalent, ‘Larinġa’ in this collection. It’s a short, anecdotal poem that recalls a moment of intimacy between two lovers who are ‘sitting together on the kitchen step / peeling oranges’. The literal orange is transformed by language into a vehicle for exploring the erotic tension between the couple. I particularly love the repetition of the word ‘felli’ in the Maltese version, which, when read aloud, has a rhythmic pattern that is missing in its English equivalent, ‘segments’.

From Memory Rape, Inizjamed and Midsea Books, 2005