John Ciardi

John Ciardi Poems

1. An Emeritus Addresses The School 6/24/2014
2. The Catalpa 6/24/2014
3. The Pilot In The Jungle 6/24/2014
4. High Tension Lines Across A Landscape 6/24/2014
5. Port Of Aerial Embarkation 6/24/2014
6. White Heron 6/24/2013
7. Most Like An Arch This Marriage 6/24/2014
8. Bees And Morning Glories 6/24/2014
9. Nothing Is Really Hard But To Be Real— 6/24/2014
10. Abundance 6/24/2014
11. An Apartment With A View 6/24/2014
12. Lines 6/24/2014
13. Suburban 6/24/2013
14. Men Marry What They Need 6/24/2013
15. The Dolls 6/24/2014
16. About The Teeth Of Sharks 6/24/2014
17. Why Nobody Pets The Lion At The Zoo 6/24/2014
Best Poem of John Ciardi

Why Nobody Pets The Lion At The Zoo

The morning that the world began
The Lion growled a growl at Man.

And I suspect the Lion might
(If he'd been closer) have tried a bite.

I think that's as it ought to be
And not as it was taught to me.

I think the Lion has a right
To growl a growl and bite a bite.

And if the Lion bothered Adam,
He should have growled right back at 'im.

The way to treat a Lion right
Is growl for growl and bite for bite.

True, the Lion is better fit
For biting than for being bit.

But if you look him in the eye
You'll find the Lion's rather ...

Read the full of Why Nobody Pets The Lion At The Zoo


Yesterday Mrs. Friar phoned.'Mr. Ciardi,
how do you do?' she said. 'I am sorry to say
this isn't exactly a social call. The fact is
your dog has just deposited-forgive me-
a large repulsive object in my petunias.'

I thought to ask, 'Have you checked the rectal grooving
for a positive I.D.?' My dog, as it happened,
was in Vermont with my son, who had gone fishing-

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