Annamaria Ferramosca

Other Signs, Other Circles
A Selection of Poems, 1990—2009

Translation and Introduction by Anamaría Crowe Serrano

OUT OF PRINT (at Chelsea Editions)
May be purchased through SPD Books

Paperback, 225 pp.
ISBN 978-0-9823849-2-3

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A selection in Italian and English from five volumes of poetry by the internationally acclaimed Roman poetess Annamaria Ferramosca. Trained as a scientist, Ferramosca displays a keen interest in animals, elements and celestial bodies, as well as classical and Biblical subjects; like a scientist, she explores human relationships with a cool and clear vision. A random list of titles indicates her range of themes: "Metro," "Stranger on a plane," "You've been devoured by the world," "Spider in an amber drop," "Genetically modified organisms," "Maybe with a woman," "We Etruscan women," "A labyrinth etched in Linear B."

ANNAMARIA FERRAMOSCA, originally from Puglia, lives in Rome. She is the author of five collections of poetry and regards collaborative writing as a way of exploring meaning through a fusion of poetic encounters. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Premio Internazionale Forum, the Hague, 2003 for Porte/Doors, and the Premio Astrolabio, 2006 for Curve di livello, as well as coming joint finalist in the Premio Camaiore, Premio Pascoli and Premio Montano.



"Many of the poems speak of the efficacy of the word, its importance as a way of bringing people together, and understanding cultures. The word, in whatever form it takes (written on paper, carved on rock, 'voicesong'), is intense, almost sacred, containing the power 'to unveil time' from which we can learn."
~ From the Introduction by Anamaría Crowe Serrano

"This writing reveals something ancestral and cosmic to whoever is open to understanding every manifestation of daily life. Moreover, it becomes its intimate justification, the texture that weaves together 'the traces and the fires.' This sublimation of the praxis of living is at the heart of this poetry."
~ Donato Valli

"These are words to be listen to with love and awe. It is immensely rich poetry: from its scientific references to its distant Hellenic and Biblical suggestions." ~ Letizia Lanza

"This mytho-poetry, as a crossing through and coming face to face with other cultures and traditions, is a distinctive feature of the poetry of Annamaria Ferramosca."
~ Marcello Carlino





Sorveglio l'acqua / I Watch Water
Ragno in goccia d'ambra / Spider in an Amber Drop
Forse con una donna / Maybe With a Woman


Poetess Annamaria Ferramosca




Sorveglio l'acqua. Imparo
come si evapora
come si abbandona l'esuvie.
In un angolo il mucchio:
il sale della vita (l'acqua è ironica)

Il dio dell'acqua saggio
ondulava in serpente
allevando le spighe
e insieme i pesci
E ignaro, in petto, ance l'uomo.
Tecnica, che solo un dio padroneggia,
ma che esclude
perversioni di plastica.

La sapienza dell'acqua
quando imperla
la fronte per timore,
prima di commettere,
prima di parlare.


I watch water. I learn
how to evaporate,
how exuviae are abandoned.
The pile lies in a corner:
the salt of the earth (water is ironic)

The wise god of water
was undulating like a snake
nurturing the reeds
together with the fish
And man too, unawares, was leeching off him.
It's a technique that only a god can master,
but which leaves no room
for plastic perversions.

How knowledgeable water is
when it covers the forehead
in beads of fear,
before we commit,
before we speak.



Se è vero
che la parola vera nasce dal silenzio
voglio tacere. Fino
ad un silenzio compulsivo
Dopo lo sperpero dei segni, dopo
la purificazione delle stanze, spenta
l'ultima scintilla sullo schermo
solanto pietre
da interrogare

Dure. Come irremovibili
speranze. Dure
come disperazioni
Scoprire l'atteggiarsi possibile
della bocca a grido
nel contagio dell'ambra che rafferma
un minimo urlo di Munch

stella viva tra i rami
immobile nel possesso della ragnatela
signore dell'equilibrio nella fragilità
stratega del fulmineo, fulminato
Urlo nel tuo silenzio, taccio
nel tuo grido

ragno in goccia d'ambra


If it is true
that the true word is born from silence
I want to be silent. To reach
a compulsive silence
Beyond the squandering of signs, beyond
the purificaions of rooms, when even
the last spark on the screen is out
there will be only stones
to ask questions of

Hard one. Like stubborn
hopes. As hard

as despair
Discovering the possible setting
of the mouth for shouting
in the contagion of amber that solidifies
a tiny scream by Munch.

It was
a living star among the branches
motionless in its dominion of the cobweb
lord of balance amidst fragility
a strategist of lightning, struck by lightning
I scream into your silence, am silent
into your scream

spider in an amber drop




Lasciarla far luce
con le sue lanterne, vigile
sulle alte mura trasparenti
lasciarla apparire e sparire
come lei vuole
dosare i richiami
perché possa sua giungla di luna

Forse con una donna
disperata di te, del tuo mondo
non serve dividere corone
meglio arsi esuli insieme
navigare con lei navicella lunare
approdare su placide ginecosfere
dove lei è dispernsiera
di pane e parole

Forse con una donna
sentire più spesso stupore
che istupidimento, soprattutto
quando dalle macerie rigorgono
lentamente i villaggi
illimpiditi dal pianto e lei
ricomincia a parlare alle rose


Let her shine a light
with her lanterns, watch
over the high transparent walls
let her appear and disappear
as she wishes
negotioate the demands
so she can slip away
into one of her lunar jungles

Maybe sharing a crown with a woman
troubled by you, by your world
is useless
best become exiles together
sail her like a little moon boat
berth in placid gynaecospheres

where she dispenses
bread and words

Maybe with a woman
you could more often feel wonder
instead of being stunned, especially
when the debris slowly
reemerges as towns
cleansed by the wailing and she
starts talking to the roses again

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