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John Ciardi  (1916-1986)


Yahoo!Poets: John Ciardi

Click here to gain access to links regarding the famous poet. You can read two biographies about Ciardi, view a full-text version of his poem "White Heron," or link with "National Public Radio Online" to listen to two radio programs where Ciardi discusses the etymology of words. An excellent array of information about the author.

John Ciardi (b. 1916) was born in Boston and grew up in the nearby suburb of Medford. He studied at Tufts University and at the University of Michigan before serving as an aerial gunner aboard B-29 bombers in World War II. Among his nearly 40 volumes of poetry are Homeward to America (1940); Other Skies (1947), a collection of war poems; In the Stoneworks (1961); and Manner of Speaking (1972). His Selected Poems, was published in 1984. He is widely known for his translation of Dante's Divine Comedy (1954-1970) into colloquial American verse. His works of criticism include How Does a Poem Mean, (1950) and Dialogue with an Audience (1963). From 1956 to 1972 he was poetry editor of Saturday Review/World, taught at the University of Kansas City and at Harvard and Rutgers Universities, and lectured at the annual Bread Loaf Writer's Conference at Middlebury College in Vermont. From 1980 on, Ciardi broadcast a popular weekly program on etymology titled "A Word in Your Ear." He died of a heart attack on March 30, 1997.

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