Baldass Armato

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Baldass Armato (1909-1992) was a Maltese poet in Melbourne, Australia

Early life

Baldass was born in Naxxar, Malta on the 13th of June, 1909 and lived in Birkirkara. From an early age he helped his father in his hairdressing saloon, a profession he practised throughout his life. From an early age, he was attracted to literature and poetry in particular. His first attempts at poetry writing were to be seen in the Pronostku Malti. He was encouraged in this by his friend Erin Serracino Inglott.

In 1954 at the age of 45 years, he migrated to Australia on the mv Castel Felice to join his brothers in Melbourne, where he continued his trade as a hairdresser. He retired in 1973 and this was followed by a visit to Malta for the first time, which was repeated in 1975 and 1978.

His poetry

Baldass joined the Maltese Literature Group on the insistence of Dr Joe Abela, and this was instrumental in his devoting more time to writing poetry. Joe Saliba was also extremely helpful in encouraging and aiding the publication of his poetry.

His poetry has a heavy religious element, with frequent reference to religious topics, saints, religion, as well as poems celebrating special occasions. He writes in a traditional form, and in general deals with traditional topics. He says: “I am a traditionalist both in thought as well as in style…In traditional poetry I see something beautiful in uniform verses, a musical rhythm which pleases the ear, elevates the soul up to the stars”.

Publications

His poetry is also included in a number of anthologies, including Irjieħ, and Mill-qalb ta’ Poeta [‘From the poet’s heart’].

Source

Joseph Chetcuti, Intervisti, p.23