Ciardi, John

Ciardi, John

▪ American poet and critic
in full  John Anthony Ciardi  
born June 24, 1916, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
died March 30, 1986, Edison, New Jersey

      American poet, critic, and translator who helped make poetry accessible to both adults and children.

      Ciardi was educated at Bates College (Lewiston, Maine), Tufts University (A.B., 1938), and the University of Michigan (M.A., 1939). He served as an aerial gunner in the U.S. Army Air Corps (1942–45) and then taught at universities until 1961. Thereafter he devoted himself full-time to literary pursuits. Ciardi served as poetry editor of the Saturday Review from 1956 to 1972. He felt that interaction between audience and author was crucial, and he generated continuous controversy with his critical reviews. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

      Ciardi's first volume of poetry, Homeward to America, appeared in 1940. His How Does a Poem Mean? (1960; rev. ed., with Miller Williams, 1975) found wide use as a poetry textbook in high schools and colleges. His other books of poetry include Person to Person (1964), The Little That Is All (1974), For Instance (1979), and The Birds of Pompeii (1985), which he finished writing shortly before his death. He also wrote many books of prose and verse for children.

      Ciardi's translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy (The Inferno, 1954; The Purgatorio, 1961; The Paradiso, 1970) was highly acclaimed. It uses rhyme but does not precisely follow Dante's rhyme scheme and metre. Rather, Ciardi attempted to capture the feeling of the original in a tense and economical modern-verse idiom.

      The poet's writings are characterized by clarity and immediacy and impelled by an effort to make poetry more accessible to the public. His best poetry often blended the occasional with the universal, as in "Talking Myself to Sleep at One More Hilton" and the splendid war poem "On a Photo of Sgt. Ciardi a Year Later." Ciardi's later works include two books written with Isaac Asimov (Asimov, Isaac): Limericks, Too Gross (1978) and A Grossery of Limericks (1981). He also wrote A Browser's Dictionary and Native's Guide to the Unknown American Language (1980) and A Second Browser's Dictionary and Native's Guide to the Unknown American Language (1983). In the 1970s and '80s he also was an occasional commentator on etymology for National Public Radio's Morning Edition program. Ciardi died unexpectedly in 1986, leaving behind a great many unpublished manuscripts. The Collected Poems of John Ciardi appeared in 1997.

Additional Reading
Vince Clemente (ed.), John Ciardi: Measure of the Man (1987); Edward M. Cifelli, John Ciardi (1997).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Ciardi,John Anthony — Ciar·di (chärʹdē), John Anthony. 1916 1986. American poet and critic noted for his clear, ironic poetry, works of literary criticism, such as How Does a Poem Mean? (1960), and a translation of Dante s Divine Comedy (1954 1970). * * * …   Universalium

  • Ciardi, John —    см. Чиарди, Джон …   Писатели США. Краткие творческие биографии

  • John Ciardi — Born June 24, 1916(1916 06 24) Boston, United States of America Died March 30, 1986(1986 03 30) (aged 69) Metuchen, N.J., USA Occupation poet, teacher, etymologist, translator …   Wikipedia

  • Ciardi — noun United States poet and critic (1916 1986) • Syn: ↑John Ciardi, ↑John Anthony Ciardi • Instance Hypernyms: ↑poet, ↑literary critic * * * /chahr dee/, n. John, 1916 86, U.S. poet …   Useful english dictionary

  • John Anthony Ciardi — noun United States poet and critic (1916 1986) • Syn: ↑Ciardi, ↑John Ciardi • Instance Hypernyms: ↑poet, ↑literary critic …   Useful english dictionary

  • John Ciardi — noun United States poet and critic (1916 1986) • Syn: ↑Ciardi, ↑John Anthony Ciardi • Instance Hypernyms: ↑poet, ↑literary critic …   Useful english dictionary

  • John Ciardi — John Anthony Ciardi (* 24. Juni 1916 in Boston, Massachusetts; † 30. März 1986 in Edison, New Jersey) war ein US amerikanischer Dichter, Übersetzer, Etymologe und Hochschullehrer. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Biografie 2 Hin …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Ciardi — Autres noms John Anthony Activités Poète, romancier, Étymologiste, professeur, éditeur, traducteur Naissance 24 juin 1916 Boston, Massachusetts Décès 30 mars 1986 (à 69 ans) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ciardi — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Benedetta Ciardi (* 1971), Wissenschaftlerin am Max Planck Institut für Astrophysik Cesare Ciardi (1818–1877), italienischer Flötist und Komponist Guglielmo Ciardi (1842–1917), italienischer Maler John… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ciardi — biographical name John 1916 1986 American poet …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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