John Ciardi was born in 1916 in Boston, Massachusetts and was the son of Italian immigrants. He passed away in 1986 after a career writing, editing, translating, and poetry readings. His poems were popular with people of all ages and education levels and he was also known as an excellent researcher during his studies. Unfortunately the links below do not have links to poems I enjoyed in the library book I picked up, Person to Person published by Rutgers University Press. Two of those poems, “The Size of Song” and “Old Man” are worth trying to find, however. Mr. Ciardi has excellent rhythm so that as you read any poem it flows beautifully and before you know it the end has been reached. Personally, I am always hoping the poem goes on. I love the “Old Man” poem because it describes a former ladies’ man who is now content to court the pigeons in the park by bringing them peanuts. I can picture several “dirty old men” that I know becoming the man in this poem. “The Size of Song” has rhyme in addition to rhythm and an intelligent way of speaking about birdsong that leaves your mind wandering further than the poem’s reaches. For example:
Bird music is the tremolo/of the tremulous. Birds let us know/the songsters never are the strong.
There are countless poems worth reading by Ciardi and I hope you will find some you enjoy by following the links below. In the meantime, if you happen to go into a library I recommend that you seek him on the shelves!
Thanks for reading, please stop by tomorrow for more poems linked around the web…