“A dictionary haunted by a heroic poem has produced this heroic poem haunted by a dictionary.”

Writer and artist Kat Addis, author of Space Parsley (the87press, 2021), has published in this month’s Issue of Poetry Foundation, a poem dedicated to John Florio.

Addis explains how, in order to read Torquato Tasso’s Gerusalemme Liberata (1581), she used Florio’s second edition of his Italian-English Dictionary, Queen Anna’s New World of Words, and she was amazed to find “every word I looked up in Florio’s dictionary, often in the precise form in which it occurred in the poem.”

She then decided to write a poem dedicated to John Florio which contains the words she found during her research.

In the Poetry Foundation’s website, Addis explains in details her writing method, which resulted in the poem “John Florio’s Heroic Poem“.

Giovanni Florio, known as John Florio, is recognised as the most important humanist in Renaissance's England.

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