Floriana Ferro’s first collection of poems, Danza di Equinozi won the Italian national literary prize Cardinal Branda Castiglioni in 2011. Published now in English in her own translation, Dance of the Equinox explores the idea of poetry as means of cultural and political emancipation. In particular, these poems locate the author’s sexual and political identity in a country still dominated by conservative and religious ideas about women and sexuality.

Each of these short and fragmentary poems is a piece of a broken mirror, clues in a game of hermetic illusions. Some are meant to be read vertically, some horizontally, while others are designed to be understood by reading alternate lines. The result is a modern lyrical vision celebrating love, Nature, the delirium of art and the capacity of poetry to resist the alienating pressures of capitalist globalization.

Cover image: Wassily Kandinsky, Heavy Circles
Author photo credit: Salvatore Giovanni De Francesco

Sample Poems


a sound of choice
is blowing unduly
through pine fronds

aspirated jargon
in a Silen’s skin
drawing the chariot
of Aphrodite


in an empty space of words resounds
spreading to the pleasure centres
expelling faces from the stage

concerts for piano
wings of thieving magpies
squabbles among actors
scent of wicker cradles
childhood plastic

Avant-garde of thought
Surrealism of feeling


calls of a deflowered morning
knock at my eyelids
they devilishly beat while I inhale
the breath of dailylight
I’m a bat beleaguered by drops
from stalactites


swallows are troubling the wintertime sky
surrounding my giddiness
with a scissor-like screech
in your treading steps the announcement
of new seasons


‘Floriana Ferro’s poems are like mosaic tiles creating the pattern of life, skilfully ordered in the space of the white page to make a visual-verbal portrait.’

Lisa Romanò