Michael Dana Gioia is an American writer, critic and poet. He retired early from his career as a corporate executive at General Foods to write full-time. From January 29, 2003, until January 22, 2009, he was chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the U.S. government's arts agency, and has worked to revitalize an organization that had suffered bitter controversies about the nature of grants to artists in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In August 2011, Gioia became Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California.
He has sought to encourage jazz, which he calls the only uniquely American form of ... more »
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Dana Gioia Poems
Thanks for Remembering Us
The flowers sent here by mistake, signed with a name that no one knew, are turning bad. What shall we do? Our neighbor says they're not for her,
Money is a kind of poetry. - Wallace Stevens Money, the long green,
The Next Poem
How much better it seems now than when it is finally done– the unforgettable first line, the cunning way the stanzas run.
The world does not need words. It articulates itself in sunlight, leaves, and shadows. The stones on the path are no less real for lying uncatalogued and uncounted. The fluent leaves speak only the dialect of pure being.
Guide to the Other Gallery
This is the hall of broken limbs Where splintered marble athletes lie Beside the arms of cherubim. Nothing is ever thrown away.
California Hills in August
I can imagine someone who found these fields unbearable, who climbed the hillside in the heat, cursing the dust, cracking the brittle weeds underfoot,
Now you hear what the house has to say. Pipes clanking, water running in the dark, the mortgaged walls shifting in discomfort, and voices mounting in an endless drone
So much of what we live goes on inside– The diaries of grief, the tongue-tied aches Of unacknowledged love are no less real For having passed unsaid. What we conceal
After the death of our son Neither the sorrows of afternoon, waiting in the silent house, Nor the night no sleep relieves, when memory
The Sunday News
Looking for something in the Sunday paper, I flipped by accident through Local Weddings, Yet missed the photograph until I saw your name among the headings.
Do Not Expect
Do not expect that if your book falls open to a certain page, that any phrase you read will make a difference today, or that the voices you might overhear
The ceremonies of the day have ceased, Abandoned to the ragged crow's parade. The flags unravel in the caterpillar's feast. The wreaths collapse onto the stones they shade.
The Country Wife
She makes her way through the dark trees Down to the lake to be alone. Following their voices on the breeze, She makes her way. Through the dark trees
Planting A Sequoia
All afternoon my brothers and I have worked in the orchard, Digging this hole, laying you into it, carefully packing the soil. Rain blackened the horizon, but cold winds kept it over the Pacific, And the sky above us stayed the dull gray
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Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
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Thanks for Remembering Us
The flowers sent here by mistake,
signed with a name that no one knew,
are turning bad. What shall we do?
Our neighbor says they're not for her,
and no one has a birthday near.
We should thank someone for the blunder.
Is one of us having an affair?
At first we laugh, and then we wonder.
The iris was the first to die,
enshrouded in its sickly-sweet
and lingering perfume. The roses
fell one petal at a time,
and now the ferns are turning dry.
The room smells like a funeral,
but there they sit, too much at home,
accusing us of some small ...