John Ciardi


Biography of John Ciardi

John Ciardi poet

John Anthony Ciardi (June 24, 1916 – March 30, 1986) was an American poet, translator, and etymologist. While primarily known as a poet, he also translated Dante's Divine Comedy, wrote several volumes of children's poetry, pursued etymology, contributed to the Saturday Review as a columnist and long-time poetry editor, and directed the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in Vermont. In 1959, Ciardi published a book on how to read, write, and teach poetry, How Does a Poem Mean?, which has proven to be among the most-used books of its kind. At the peak of his popularity in the early 1960s, Ciardi also had a network television program on CBS, Accent. Ciardi's impact on poetry is perhaps best measured through the younger poets whom he influenced as a teacher and as editor of The Saturday Review.

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An Apartment With A View

I am in Rome, Vatican bells tolling
a windowful of God and Bernini.
My neighbor, the Pope, has died
and God overnight, has wept
black mantles over the sainted
stone age whose skirted shadows
flit through to the main cave.

I nurse a cold. It must be error

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