Dr Rużar Briffa (Rużar Briffa)

Dr Rużar Briffa

Poet. Considered to this day as a major figure in Maltese literature, Rużar Briffa was born in Valletta in 1906 and received his first education at St. Elmo’s Elementary State School and the Valletta Lyceum. Obtaining the matriculation certificate, in 1923 he started teaching at elementary schools, however a year later he decided to further his studies, enrolling himself in the faculty of medicine of the University of Malta. Successfully finishing his studies in venereology and dermatology in London, in 1932 he became a specialist in skin diseases. Founding the “Għaqda tal-Malti – Università” along with his friend Ġużè Bonnici, which remains active to date, he started issuing the magazine “Leħen il-Malti”. A deeply humble man, known for his kindheartedness in dealing with his patients, especially those suffering from leprosy, Briffa suffered greatly across his life, through the early loss of his first wife, agonizing reality through the illness of his patients and eventually his own health. Many of his poems were written on bits of papers cut from notebooks or on the inner part of a used packet of cigarettes, while others were on papers intended for medical prescriptions and on paper-bags, in other words, anything that was at hand to capture his muse in. Succumbing to throat cancer at his residence in Valletta, his collected works were released in 1984 by Professor Oliver Friggieri. In his own words, “I did not write for glory. Poetry for me is by no means a matter of amusement, but rather of great suffering.” (bio by: Eman Bonnici)


  • January, 16, 1906
  • Malta


  • February, 02, 1963
  • Malta


  • Santa Maria Addolorata Cemetery
  • Malta

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